Lessons from Luke Perrys Estate Plan

It’s been almost a year since we said goodbye to Luke Perry. The beloved television and film star passed away on March 4, 2019, at the early age of 52 after suffering a stroke. He left behind a fiancé and two grown children and something many people overlook: an estate plan. By many accounts, Mr. Perry was thoughtful and well-prepared in his planning. Here are some lessons from Luke Perry’s estate plan.

He Prepared an Estate Plan Sooner Rather than Later

Although many people wait until they are older or facing ill health to plan for their estates, Luke Perry didn’t wait to get his affairs in order. In 2015, Perry drafted his most recent will, and he also created a trust for the benefit of his two children. With an estimated net worth of $10 million, his wealth and his $2 million home went to his kids. With his will and trust ready, everything was most likely in place to transfer these assets to his heirs.

He Most Likely Had an Advance Health Care Directive

Perry was put into a medically-induced coma following his stroke, and then taken off life support after five days. He was with his family when he died, and he likely had an advance health care directive in place. By having this important device ready, his family would have been able to review his medical treatment preferences before deciding to stop support. Because he was prepared, his loved ones were able to act in a timely manner rather than having to petition a court to make choices about continuing his care.

He Considered Taxes with His Estate Plan

According to a recent report, Perry’s 2 million dollar San Fernando Valley home was placed in a revocable trust for the benefit of his two adult children. It is surmised that Perry planned to pass his home to his children in this manner so they could later take advantage of a unique California parent-child tax exemption. This exemption would allow them to inherit Perry’s property tax base despite the home’s appreciation in value. This type of planning showed considerable foresight and consideration for his children’s future savings.

Luke Perry’s fiancé did not inherit from his vast estate. While it’s not possible to know if he intended to leave her out of his estate plan, his untimely death prevented him from updating his testamentary documents. If Perry did want to include his fiancé in his estate plan, he might have remedied the situation by making annual updates to estate planning documents.

As Luke Perry’s death shows, there are several matters to consider when creating your estate plan.  The best course of action is to contact a California estate planning attorney who can help you understand your options and how to prepare for the future. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we have the estate planning experience you need to create the right plan for your circumstances.  Contact us today for a free consultation. https://www.salvolaw.com/