Tom Clancy’s $83-million estate prompts family tax dispute

Author Tom Clancy left an estate worth $83 million.
(Vince Lupo / Associated Press)
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When Tom Clancy died in 2013, he left behind an estate worth $83 million. Lawyers for his widow are arguing in court that she shouldn’t have to pay $6 million in taxes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The lawyers say that instead of Clancy’s widow, Alexandra, paying the taxes, the burden should be shifted to the four children from his first marriage.

Clancy’s books sold more than 50 million copies. He wrote histories and bestselling spy novels, many set in the late cold-war era. President Ronald Reagan was a fan.


Many of his books were made into successful films, including “Patriot Games” and “The Hunt for Red October,” both featuring his hero Jack Ryan.

The Clancy assets include a 12% stake in the Baltimore Orioles and a 535-acre Maryland estate. He also had an impressive collection of military memorabilia, including 26 guns worth $35,000 and a rare World War II tank with “very low mileage.”

Alexandra Clancy is the “sole or main” beneficiary of two-thirds of the estate. She and her husband had one daughter.

Additional property jointly owned by Clancy and his wife, including 17,000 square feet of penthouse condominiums at the Ritz Carlton in Baltimore, are excluded from the probate process.

Clancy’s executor had already declared that the $6 million in taxes -- of up to $16 million -- be paid by Alexandra’s trust. Her attorneys say that Clancy modified his will in July 2013 to protect his wife from paying the taxes; he died Oct. 1, 2013 at age 66.

Praising the firm that made the original determination, a lawyer for the four adult children told the Wall Street Journal, “Obviously, we would hope that the original determination by the personal representative is the correct one, because it would be more detrimental to my clients if it were not.”


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