Late Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim leaves estate worth an estimated $75 million to husband, arts charities and friends
- Stephen Sondheim, Broadway legend who died in November, left his $75million estate to husband, friends and charities, court documents show
- The ‘West Side Story’ songwriter left the contents of his estate, including rights to his music and literary works, personal effects and finances
- The New York Post reported that Sondheim named 20 people and charities as beneficiaries of her trust, including her husband Jeffrey Romley.
- Sondheim also listed “Into the Woods” collaborator James Lapine and fellow playwright Peter Jones, with whom Sondheim had a relationship when he was 60.
- He also listed several charities and organizations, including the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of New York City and the Library of Congress.
- The lyricist and composer died at 91 in his Connecticut home a day after Thanksgiving
Stephen Sondheim, the Broadway legend who died in November, left his $75 million estate to her husband, friends and several charities, according to court documents.
The ‘West Side Story’ songwriter left the contents of his estate, including rights to his music and literary works, personal effects and finances, which will go to the Stephen J Sondheim Revocable Trust, his will says .
Sondheim has named 20 people and charities as beneficiaries of her trust, including her husband Jeffrey Romley, her collaborator and “Into the Woods” director James Lapine, and fellow playwright Peter Jones, with whom Sondheim had a relationship at the age of 60 years, the New York Publish Reports.
Sondheim also listed the Smithsonian Institute, Museum of New York City, Library of Congress, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dramatists Guild Fund, and Irish Repertory Theater Company as beneficiaries of his estate.
Pictured: Stephen Sondheim and husband Jeff Romley at the 2013 Library Lions Gala
Then-President Barack Obama, right, presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to composer Stephen Sondheim during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, in 2015
He also named a soon-to-be-established Stephen Sondheim Foundation as another beneficiary.
Other names listed in Sondheim include Rob Girard, her gardener for 14 years, and Sondheim’s close friend, home designer Charles Peter Wooster, who lived on the Sondheim, Connecticut property in a shed, according to the New York Times.
“It’s called an installment will where everything goes to the trust,” the attorney source said.
“It’s a very classic estate planning technique.”
The lyricist and composer’s lawyer and friend, F Richard Pappas, had announced that Sondheim had died aged 91 at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, a day after Thanksgiving.
According to his will, Sondheim named Pappas and another man who has not been identified as executors of his estate.
The source added: “The trust will certainly tell the full story, but we don’t have a copy.”
“We can safely assume that the names of the people listed in the probate petition are beneficiaries and will receive something, but we don’t know how many.”
Irish Repertory Theater co-founders Ciarán O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore called the bequest a “nice surprise”.
Photo by Stephen Sondheim Photo by Michael Ochs, circa 1970
Sondheim was the songwriter of West Side Story, a hit Broadway play. Pictured above is the cast of the film adaptation
Pictured: Sondheim’s Roxbury, Connecticut estate, where he died in November at the age of 91
Sondheim “has never failed to honor us with his unwavering support…especially our musicals and musical adaptations,” their statement continued.
“Having ‘Himself’ in our audience, while utterly terrifying, confirmed our right to venture into the mysterious worlds of which he was the undisputed master.”
According to the Post, a New York trust attorney unrelated to Sondheim’s case said the composer was handling his estate well, with someone close to him handling his musical legacy by inheriting his intellectual property.
“Stephen Sondheim has worked with the best planning lawyers in the country and has a great estate plan that will benefit his wife and friends and the charities that were important to him,” the legal source told the Post.
“Plus, he keeps his intellectual property in order…there’s someone managing his musical legacy.”