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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Swan

What Can We Learn from Luke Perry's Life?

Fans of Beverly Hills 90210 learned a lot from Luke Perry during his years on the show–and with his untimely death earlier this week, we can still learn from the late actor’s life.

Perry suffered a massive and unexpected stroke and was taken to the hospital.  After five long and uncertain days, he passed away at the hospital on March 4.

During those five days, he was unresponsive and unable to make medical decisions for himself.  As family members arrived, they had to confront not only their own grief, but the difficulty of dealing with making medical decisions for their loved one.

It’s a powerful reminder of exactly why we include Medical Power of Attorney in every estate plan: the unexpected does happen.  Even when you’re 52, in the middle of your life.

In addition to medical decisions during that time, someone must also take financial responsibility.  That’s where a Financial Power of Attorney comes in.  While someone is still alive, but unable to speak for themselves, a Financial POA gives authority to a trusted person to make decisions on their behalf.

Perry had a modern family; he was divorced and had children from his first marriage.  He leaves behind two children: an 18-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son.  He was engaged to be married, and an engagement has no legal weight, so we hope he provided for his fiancé. It’s a reminder that every family is unique and needs a tailored estate plan that works exactly according to their preferences and situations.

We can hope that Perry had an estate plan that included an inventory of all his accounts and their beneficiaries, as we do at Swan Law.  Having up-to-date beneficiary designations can make all the difference in carrying out your financial intentions.

If he hadn’t passed away, but instead had lost decision-making capacity and needed medical care and assistance for many years, the nest egg he’d hoped to pass along to his children might have gone completely to medical costs.  We can help you create a plan that prepares in advance for these complex situations and takes care of what you love most.

Many people have good intentions: they get life insurance and maybe they even make a will.  But these are not one-and-done tasks.  They require a degree of maintenance, especially if you have a major life change, like a death in the family or a divorce–or an engagement.

The most important lesson we can learn from Luke Perry’s life is to live every moment to the fullest.  You simply never know when a massive medical emergency might occur, and having a plan in place can make an incredibly difficult time just a bit easier on the people you love.

If you’re ready to make a plan, call Swan Law at 970-879-1572.

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