What Happens to Matthew Perry’s Estate, Including His ‘Friends’ Residuals? Legal Experts Explain

Matthew Perry’s untimely passing at the age of 54 has left behind a significant estate. His assets, including real estate, property, residuals from Friends, copyrights, trademarks, investments, cash, and securities, form part of this estate. Estate lawyers in California have highlighted several possible options for handling Perry’s estate. One option is to list specific beneficiaries for residuals, which is allowed by guilds and unions. Another option is to designate beneficiaries for other assets like real estate, stocks, bonds, and life insurance. It is also likely that Perry created a trust, which would keep the beneficiaries private.

Trusts provide directives on how assets, including residuals, should be distributed. Alternatively, if Perry did not create a specific beneficiary list, his assets may go through a probate court to determine who will inherit them. In such cases, the California law of intestacy would determine the recipients. This would make the details of the estate public. Perry’s unmarried status and absence of children suggest that his parents, John Bennett Perry and Suzanne Morrison, would likely receive his estate.
However, it is possible that Perry’s assets could also go to The Matthew Perry Foundation, established to support individuals struggling with substance abuse. Taxation issues may arise if Perry’s parents inherit his wealth, but they could potentially avoid double taxation by disclaiming the inheritance. Their decision to disclaim would need to be made in writing before receiving any benefits from the assets. Perry’s parents have five half-siblings who may benefit from their decision to disclaim.


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