New assets increase value of Cianci probate estate

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Newly added assets have increased the value of the probate estate of late former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr.

Documents obtained by Eyewitness News show lawyers have added an IRA valued at $196,620.27 to the estate, bringing its total value to nearly $250,000.

Cianci’s nephew and executor, Brad Turchetta, said the IRA once belonged to Cianci’s late daughter, Nicole, but was passed on to her father at the time of her death in 2012.

Estate documents previously reported by Eyewitness News show Cianci’s probate estate was valued at $48,475 as of September, with listed assets including furniture, a car, a boat and numerous works of art, including an original landscape painting by George Whitaker.

In May, Tara Marie Haywood, Cianci’s fiancée at the time of his death, filed a claim against Cianci’s estate in Providence Probate Court seeking to receive “an amount to be determined.” The documents said Haywood “provided services” to the former mayor “throughout their relationship.”

In addition to the compensation claim, Haywood requested that the court legally recognize her as Cianci’s spouse under common law. The couple dated for almost two years and became engaged in December 2015, a month before Cianci died following a battle with cancer.

If the court legally recognizes Haywood as Cianci’s common-law wife, she would be entitled to roughly half of whatever Cianci left behind, according to her lawyer, Frank Lombardi, who is also a state senator.

Lawyers for Cianci’s family have filed an objection to Haywood’s petition, as well as a statement disallowing claims.

Cianci’s will dates back to 2002 and predates his relationship with Haywood. It called for the vast majority of his wealth be put into a trust separate from his probate estate, which was to be left to his grandchildren. The contents of the trust, and their estimated value, are not public.

Lombardi has said Haywood he will likely file a Superior Court claim seeking money from that trust as well.