Luke Perry's death shows importance of estate plan upkeep

Actor Luke Perry, best known for his work on "Beverly Hills 90210," recently passed away at the young age of 52. Nobody expects to suddenly pass away so young, which makes Perry's death all the more tragic. It is usually in these circumstances that families find themselves struggling to figure out what to do with their lost loved one's estate. In the absence of an estate plan, matters can get messy, the distribution of assets can be costly and time-consuming and family members may vie over wanted property.

It looks like Perry may have had at least a minimal estate plan in place to avoid this outcome. Reports indicate that someone in his family likely had a power of attorney, which allowed that person to decide to take Perry off of life support. Others who utilize this estate planning tool can ensure that critical financial and healthcare decisions are left in the hands of trusted individuals should such a need arise. Failing to have this document in place could lead to the matter being argued over in court by family members who may have differing opinions about how the matter should be addressed.

Perry also had a will created in 2015, which purportedly left everything to his two children, and it is probable that he had at least one trust in place to allow his estate to avoid the probate process. Perhaps the biggest question looming is whether Perry's fiancé was accounted for in this estate plan. If not, then she may be left with no inheritance.

This situation, while tragic, is also educational. It shows the importance of creating and maintaining an estate plan that is suitable to a person's wishes. To better ensure that assets are distributed to loved ones accordingly, California residents may want to get more information about estate planning options.

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