The will of actor James Gandolfini was probated and made public, a decision tax attorney Robert Wood of San Francisco does not agree with. Regardless of wealth, he believes wills should be done via a private trust and not in the public eye.
The norm, says Wood, is a revocable trust that you can change during a lifetime. This is what John Lennon did and advises others to do as well. Gandolfini's baby with his second wife is set to receive significant assets at the age of 21, per his will. Most people revise those expectations in the hands of a trustee, says Wood. Gandolfini is also criticized for leaving too much to his sister, as this is taxable, as opposed to leaving money to a spouse, which falls under the gift tax.
Woods says "think taxes but not taxes first."
For more information on the article written in Forbes magazine about this, click here. Robert Wood is a tax attorney with Wood, LLP in San Francisco, California and spoke with The Tax Law Channel, an affiliate of The Legal Broadcast Network.