James Gandolfini`s will a `tax disaster`, says estate lawyer

Updated: Jul 06, 2013, 13:12 PM IST

New York: The will of ` Sopranos` star James Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack last month while vacationing in Italy with his son, is "a disaster" that could see over 30 million dollars of his estimated 70 million-dollar estate go to the government, a top estate lawyer has claimed.

William Zabel, who reviewed the document at The News` request, told the New York Daily News that the will is a nightmare from a tax standpoint.

The lawyer said that the late 51-year-old`s "big mistake" was that he left 80 percent of his estate to his sisters and his 9-month-old daughter.

He said that made 80 percent of the estate subject to "death taxes" of about 55 percent, and the bill is due in nine months.

That means his family will have to start selling off his property and clear up his assets soon in order to pay the tab, since it`s unlikely the actor had tens of millions of dollars in cash on hand.

Zabel said that the 20 percent of the estate that Gandolfini left to wife Deborah Lin isn`t directly subject to the death tax, but even she`ll take a big hit.

The will calls for the shares to be divvied up after all the taxes are paid, which means Lin will get 20percent of the 40 million dollars left after taxes, instead of 20percent of 70 million dollars.