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Sudden death of actor shines light on need for estate planning

California residents who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s may be familiar with the original television series, "Beverly Hills, 90210." The show followed the lives of several privileged teenagers growing up in the wealthy Southern California community identified in its title. One of its breakout stars, Luke Perry, played a rebellious youth who was a fan favorite season after season.

Perry, however, took a step back from the spotlight of Hollywood and became a husband and father. Though his marriage ended he took an active role in raising his children while balancing a continuing career in the entertainment industry. At the age of 52 he was back on a popular television program and entertaining audiences as he had done in his youth.

Just last week Perry died of a sudden and massive stroke. The ailment afflicted the actor and rendered him unresponsive for several days before he ultimately succumbed to his condition. His death was both unexpected and tragic, surprising his loved ones as well as fans across the world who took pleasure in his acting talents.

Death is an ever-present threat, even when individuals actively seek to care for their bodies. When incapacity like that suffered by Perry in the days before his death happens, individuals should have powers of attorney in place to protect their healthcare and financial powers. When death occurs unexpectedly, their loved ones and their estates should be protected through careful will and trust planning. It is never too early to prepare an estate plan. Though the future may hold promise for many, tragedy may affect some and rob them of their opportunities to make decisions about their end-of-life estates.

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