On March 4th, 2019, the famous actor Luke Perry passed away due to a severe stroke suffered several days prior. The tragedy not only spread stroke awareness — strokes are not something that only happen to seniors, or people who have known heart conditions — but also shed some light on the importance of estate planning, especially when it comes to the creation of trusts. It is believed that Luke arranged the majority of his estate plan in a trust, which kept it in his control and kept it private upon his passing. Only some of it seems to have been arranged in a will, or last will and testament.
Securing Privacy Through a Trust
When only a will controls an estate plan, it all goes through probate, or a court-directed review of the will. Probate is technically a public process, so eyes from everywhere can see what is going on, including what is in the decedent’s estate. If Luke Perry only had a will, then his family would have to deal with the public — and the paparazzi — digging through the publicized information, probably spreading rumors along the way, as society often does when celebrities pass away.
Given that it is believed Luke must have arranged most of his estate in a trust, the assets and funds allocated in the trust can be passed to his children without complication. Perhaps more importantly for a celebrity like Luke, the transfer of assets based on a revocable living trust can be done without going to court, which means it is never publicized.
Furthermore, you do not need to tell anyone about your trust that you do not want to know about it. Usually when a trust is created, you will want to tell loved ones you trust and anyone you have named within the trust as a trustee, agent, or executor. You should also tell them how to contact your estate planning attorney for additional questions in the event you become incapacitated or pass away.
Protecting Your Loved Ones with a Trust
Luke Perry assigned all of his estate to his two children, Jack and Sophie, 21 and 18, respectively. How he has assigned the estate to them is largely unknown due to the privacy maintained through a trust. However, it might be possible that he has placed some or most of his assets for them into a protective trust.
To make certain funds are used correctly and responsibly, you can create a protective trust. Within such a special trust, funds are pre-destined by the person who created the trust. Typically, protective trusts allocate funds to be used on education, real estate, and medical care, i.e. the essentials. This type of trust helps make certain someone with poor money management skills does not unintentionally squander their newfound assets.
Have Questions About Trusts? We Have Answers
Our team of Leesburg trust attorneys from Legacy Law Center recently posted to our Facebook wall about Luke Perry’s passing, sharing an article from Forbes. Be sure to give it a visit if you have more questions about Luke’s estate plan. If you have other questions about estate planning, please feel free to call us at (571) 777-1000 to either schedule an appointment or a complimentary consultation.