Actor, Luke Perry, made famous by his work on the 1990s teen television drama, “Beverly Hills 90210,” tragically passed away from a stroke earlier this month. He was only 52 at the time of his death. He leaves behind a fiancé, two adult children, his mother, siblings and other loved ones. His loved ones, along with his fans in Colorado and across the nation, will feel his loss keenly.
However, this tragic situation serves as a reminder that not everyone is guaranteed to live to an old age. Unfortunately, sometimes a person suffers a life-ending injury or illness at an early age. Sometimes these incidents come after a protracted illness, while other times these events happen suddenly. What is important to remember, then, is that it is never too soon to think about estate planning.
While the details of Perry’s estate plan have not been disclosed he had reportedly executed a will in 2015, and he may have executed other documents as well. Some important documents to include in an estate plan include a medical power of attorney, financial power of attorney, an advance medical directive and a will or trust (or both). The power of attorney allows a person to make decisions if one becomes incapacitated. An advance medical directive states what kind of end-of-life care one wants. For example, whether to be kept on life support if in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery. And, of course, wills and trusts are vehicles that can be used to ensure assets are handed down to the chosen heirs.
The lesson readers can take away from Perry’s death is that it is never too early to execute a comprehensive estate plan. Not everyone has Perry’s fame or wealth, but most people have an opinion on who they want to handle their affairs, what kind of end-of-life care they receive and who should inherit their assets.