Matthew Perry's Will Explained As Bank Account Total Raises Eyebrows

(Newsweek) - The details of Matthew Perry's estate have become more clear, but one feature of his will has left people scratching their heads.

The Friends actor died at his Los Angeles home eight months ago aged 54. Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub by first responders, with the cause of death ruled as the acute effects of ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic used as a treatment for depression and pain management.

Recent documents showed Perry had little more than $1.5 million in his personal bank account, which might seem like a small figure for the actor who was reportedly worth around $120 million at the time of his death.

At the height of Friends success, he was earning about $1 million per episode. After the show was syndicated, he was thought to be earning about $20 million per year in royalties.

But an expert in probate law explained to People after it unearthed the documents that it was not uncommon for people to put their money and other assets into a trust.

That is likely why Perry only had $1.5 million in his bank account and no properties in his name, despite it being known he owned several.

Perry had set up the Alvy Singer Living Trust, named after Woody Allen's character in the movie Annie Hall.

"It appears that everything in his will was left to his trust," probate lawyer Jonathan Forster, who is not involved in the case, told People. "The reason why we use trusts as opposed to wills is that trusts also avoid probate, and probate is a court-supervised transfer of assets, and probate is public."

People unearthed the updated inventory of Perry's assets in June which showed the remaining figure in his bank account.

"When we're typically doing an estate plan with a will and a trust, the will simply leaves assets to the trust," Forster said, which explained why there were no properties in Perry's name. "You would fund [the trust] during your lifetime. The will would be kind of like a catch-all, where if there are any assets owned by the person when they pass away, the will is directed to transfer those assets into the trust."

One of the trustees listed on Perry's trust, Lisa Ferguson, is named on the title of his Pacific Palisades home where he died in October 2023.

Ferguson was Perry's business manager and she was named as one of several people in the actor's will.

Others named in the will were his dad John Perry, mom Suzanne Morrison, half-sisters Caitlin, Emily and Madeline Morrison and Maria Perry-Bowick, half-brother William Morrison, ex-girlfriend Rachel Dunn, and Robin Ruzan, who is a Hollywood producer and friend of Perry.

Ruzan and Ferguson were executors of his will, according to the documents obtained by People.

By Shannon Power
July 4, 2024


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