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Meinzer Law Firm, PC

Luke Perry's death helps show importance of estate planning

The loss of a loved one, regardless of whether it is expected, can be tragic. The emotional harm suffered during this time can be enough to leave an individual overwhelmed, but these surviving family members usually have more to deal with in the aftermath of their loved one's death. Oftentimes chief amongst them is settling matters related to the deceased's estate. Through effective and holistic estate planning, though, Californians can save their loved one's the trouble while at the same time provide for them in a way that they see fitting.

This type of planning can be seen in the case of recently deceased actor Luke Perry. Perry, who was 52 at the time of his death, was taken off life support his family after he suffered a massive stroke. Reports indicate that Perry would not have recovered from the stroke, which likely prompted the removal of life support. The fact that Perry's family was able to take this action points to the likely fact that Perry had some sort of power of attorney in place, designating an individual to make important healthcare decisions during his incapacitation.

Perry probably utilized other estate planning tools, too. In 2015 it was reported that he created a will to leave everything to his two children, but he may have also created a trust to allow his children to inherit assets without having to go through the probate process. It is unclear at this time, though, if Perry's will was amended to include his fiancé. If not, then she may have no legal right to inherit anything.

While it appears that Perry did some estate planning to dictate how his assets should be distributed, the exact facts aren't clear at this time. However, this case helps illustrate the importance of estate planning. Although we all hope to live long lives, the truth of the matter is that tragedy can strike at any moment. When that time comes, Californians will want to ensure that they have accounted for their loved ones and their assets.

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