Nora Ephron (1941-2012) – Producer & Screenwriter
Nora Ephron was an American journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director, and blogger. A talented writer and director, Ephron is known for her successful romantic comedies, such as When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993). The daughter of writers, she grew up in Los Angeles, and went east to go to school at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Gifted with a sharp wit, Ephron first made her mark as an essayist. In 1970, her articles were published in 1970’s Wallflower at the Orgy and 1975’s Crazy Salad. Her first novel, Heartburn (1983), drew inspiration from the end of her second marriage, and was later made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Around this time, Ephron wrote the screenplay for the drama Silkwood (1983), which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. While that film received much praise, she really hit box office gold with her screenplay for When Harry Met Sally, starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the title roles. In 1992, Ephron directed her first film, This Is My Life, where she co-wrote the screenplay with her sister, Delia Ephron. Ephron directed and wrote other successful films like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, both starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Her last widely acclaimed film in 2009 was Julie & Julia, which starred Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, earning nearly $130 million at the box office.
Ephron, who died of leukemia, divided her $15 million fortune primarily between trust funds for her husband, writer Nick Pileggi, and her sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein, children from her second marriage to “Watergate” journalist Carl Bernstein. Her Will stipulated that her marital and family trusts should be liquidated and most of the proceeds go to her two sons, and 20% of the remainder to the Nora Ephron and Nicholas Pileggi Foundation. Ephron also made several cash requests in her Will to all three of her sisters, as well as, each of her nieces and nephews. She also distributed jewelry and other things to her family and friends as well.
We honor Nora Ephron because her outstanding estate planning makes her a Legacy Champ. If you want to be a Legacy Champ in your own special way, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.