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Estate planning lessons to be learned from Luke Perry

While there's no denying the importance of being prepared for the unexpected, many individuals in Georgia and other parts of the country aren't all that proactive about estate planning. Fortunately, the late actor Luke Perry took steps to ensure his family would be taken care before he passed away after suffering a massive stroke.

The fact that Perry's family was able to make the difficult decision to take him off life support when it became apparent he would not recover also shows that the proper estate planning documents were drafted ahead of time. In California, the state where the "Beverly Hills 90210" star died, an advance directive or power of attorney would be required to allow health-related decisions to be made. In the absence of such documents, a court order would be required to terminate life support.

The actor reportedly had a will prepared in 2015 following a cancer scare, which left everything to his two children. Since Perry's estate is believed to be worth around $10 million, it's possible he may have created a revocable living trust to supplement his will. If only a will was drafted, the actor's estate would go through probate. But if there was a properly funded trust set up, Perry's assets would be directly passed to his children without the need for court intervention. Perry also left behind a fiancé. If she was not referenced if any estate documents, she would not inherit anything since Perry died before a marriage occurred.

Perry's untimely death serves as an added incentive for anyone in Georgia wishing to ease burdens for loved ones to explore their options with estate planning. An estate planning attorney can recommend appropriate documents based on individual needs and preferences. Wills and certain other estate arrangements can also be updated or amended if circumstances change.

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