Famous Estates – Legacy Champ or Chump?

Aug 03, 2012  /  By: Stephen A. Mendel, Estate Planning Attorney  /  Category: Uncategorized

Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) – Actor


Humphrey Bogart is widely regarded as a cultural icon. The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema. Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film. Bogart’s breakthrough as a leading man came in 1941, with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca raised him to the peak of his profession and, at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side. During his film career of almost thirty years, he appeared in 75 feature films. Yet, despite his success as an actor, consider what happened to his estate.

19% Shrinkage of the Estate

$910,146 Gross Estate

$  26,486 Less Settlement Costs

$145,980 Death Taxes

$172,478 Total Costs

$737,668 Final Estate Value

Humphrey Bogart was an award winning actor, but even famous actors can fail to properly plan. You decide. Is a 19% loss of the Estate good planning by someone with a vast array of professionals available to assist him?

If you want to minimize the likelihood of a shrinkage of your estate, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P., for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.


The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.