Friday, July 5, 2013

James Gandolfini's Will -- Lessons Learned

My phone chimed, indicating either a text or a New York Times news bulletin.  It was the later, and to my shock, announced the all too soon death of James Gandolfini.  At 51, the star of the superb show The Sopranos was gone.  In the days that have followed the news has covered his career, his funeral, and now his will.

My admiration for the actor continues to increase.  Not only did he die with a will, he died with an up-to-date will.  News reports say Gandolfini left upwards of $70 million, including provisions for his 13 year old son from a prior marriage, his current wife, and his infant daughter.  The only detail that struck me as odd was that his sons trust ends at age 21, a relatively young age in my opinion.  Working with clients I often toss out the ages of 25 or 28, and then add the comment that in my will a trust would not end until my youngest is 30.

While I may question a relatively young age for termination of a trust, I commend Mr. Gandolfini for facing the fact so many day we will die.  Every one of us.  When, where and how remain a mystery, but the end is certain.  We cannot prevent it, but we can prepare.

Vibrant, talented, young, a future ahead of him, and now he is gone.  But he was prepared.  His affairs were in order.  And most likely it reduced his family's stress during an intense period of grief.  Could your loved ones say the same?

1 comment:

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