How ACP Helped Luke Perry Protect His Family

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    On March 4, former Beverly Hills 90210 star and teenage heartthrob Luke Perry died, surrounded by family and loved ones, five days after suffering a serious and sudden stroke.

    Almost everyone thinks of a stroke as a condition that only strikes “old” people. Fortunately, though, the 52-year-old Perry had the foresight to do proper estate planning at a younger age. And that meant the tragedy of his premature death was not made worse for his family.

    The decision to allow Perry to die – when he was healthy and vibrant less than a week earlier – must have been difficult.  The fact that the hospital allowed Perry’s family to end life support means that Luke Perry likely had executed the proper legal documents so that his family could make the decision.  Specifically, in California, those wishes generally are made in writing, through an Advance Directive or a Power of Attorney.

    Without a proper legal document, Luke Perry’s family may have needed an order from a probate court to terminate life support, at least if family members disagreed.  That would have been a public and emotional process that would have prolonged his suffering and made it even harder for his family.

    In 2015, Perry reportedly created a will, leaving everything to his two children.  Starting that year, Perry became an outspoken advocate for screening for colorectal cancer.  He discovered he had precancerous growths following a colonoscopy and began urging others to do the same testing.  According to a family friend, it was because of this scare that Perry created a will to protect his children.

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    Danielle and Andy Mayoras are co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, television hosts and keynote speakers.

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