Andy Rooney's Estate May Have Left Heirs with Some Complaints

After Andy Rooney's death in 2011, his four children became his beneficiaries and will divide the $9 million their father made during his many years working as a journalist. His son, however, has suggested that better estate planning may have made a big difference.

The will, filed with a court in Manhattan, shows Rooney left behind $8 million in stocks, bonds and cash, and $1 million in property in New York and Connecticut. Rooney's son notes, however, that his dad could have amassed more with better administration, claiming that the famous journalist could have had a $50 million estate with better oversight during his lifetime.

Rooney, according to his son Brian, didn't put much stock in estate planning. Rooney's four children held an estate sale at the family's original home, but it is unclear how much the estate sale made from the houseful of antiques and art.

Estate taxes and law can be very complicated, especially because New York doesn't follow current federal regulations. This means an estate tax return is required by New York but not the federal government. And as Rooney's family learned, poor estate administration can be costly. In 2008, the Treasury collected more than $25 billion in estate taxes.

After living through the depression and Second World War, Rooney stashed away money whenever he could and was very frugal. He even refused to spend money on taxi fare until he reached age 90, which is quite an accomplishment for a New Yorker. However, he likely could have benefited from an estate planner for his savings.

Source: New York Daily News, "Andy Rooney's kids to split $9 million estate," Barbara Ross, March 5, 2012

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