There was recently a story trending throughout the media that is relevant to the field of estate planning. The situation that we are going to share is not necessarily all that instructive, but it is definitely interesting.
Back in the late 1970s the Lucan television series aired for one season, starring a fellow named Kevin Brophy. The show had at least one fan: An Illinois man named Ray Fulk.
Fulk was apparently also fond of the soap opera The Young and the Restless during the late 80s and early 90s when the actor Peter Barton played Dr. Scott Grainger.
Fulk died over the summer in possession of an estate valued at over $1 million, and he had no family to speak of. Though he had never met the two actors mentioned above, he left everything that he had to them except for $5000 that he left to an animal rights organization.
His attorney shared some of the details with questioners. The lawyer, Donald Behle, said that Fulk retained his services to create an estate plan back in 1997. He said that he wanted to leave his assets to these actors, calling them “friends of his.”
After the attorney examined the papers left behind by his client he found that Fulk had written to the actors and that they had responded to him.
Clearly, most people are not going to bequeath their remaining assets to their favorite television actors. However, if you are of sound mind you are free to make any choices that you want to when you are planning your estate.