Ray Fulk of Illinois died recently and, since he had no family, he created a Will to leave the majority of his estate to his two favorite actors. Fulk’s estate was valued at nearly $1,000,000 and all but $5,000 went to the actors – the $5,000 went to his favorite charity, the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. The remainder of the estate was divided between Kevin Brophy and Peter Barton. Brophy is best known for portraying the title character in Lucan and played a number of supporting roles in various television shows and films from 1977 – 1998. Barton starred in The Powers of Matthew Star, Burke’s Law, Sunset Beach, and The Young and the Restless. Fulk referred to these two actors as his “friends” although he had never met either one.
If Fulk had passed away without a Will in place, his estate would have been distributed between his relatives. He did not have a wife nor any children and lived a reclusive life on his farm. He also claimed no close relatives and had informed his neighbors that he did not get along with his parents because of his inability to hold a job. Fulk obviously did not want his estate to pass to any of his potential relatives nor for it to be given to the State of Illinois if no relatives could be found.
The inheritance was likely a surprise to the two actors – they have probably received a great deal of fan mail over the years, but there have probably not been many gifts of nearly $500,000 that have come their way from their fans!
Estate planning truly is a flexible tool and can help your estate go to whomever you wish – even regardless of relation. In fact, Fulk proves that an estate can even go to strangers.
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