The Estate of a Soprano: Another Celebrity Death Teaches Estate Planning Lesson

Something odd happened a few weeks after James Gandolfini died. The discussion shifted from shock and surprise at his death, to his will, which, unlike the wills of most wealthy people, quickly became public. Almost immediately, many experts found fault with its contents, saying it was so unwisely constructed it could lead to lawsuits from his heirs.

from THE NEW YORK TIMES (SEPT 23, 2010): AT STEINBECK’S GETAWAY AS HEIRS’ FEUD REVIVES

The quaint little house Steinbeck called “my little fishing place” is the focus of a long-running and bitter family estate battle, pitting the surviving sister of the author’s third wife, Elaine, against his oldest son and a granddaughter. Even the best planning can’t prevent all conflict, but there are things you can do to discourage it.