A man named Ray Fulk, who did not have any children or close relatives, died last summer in Illinois. He owned 160 acres of land that he inherited from his father that is valued at around $1 million. He was also in possession of over $200,000 in additional funds.
Though he was by no means indigent he lived in a farmhouse that did not have any running water. He kept to himself and did not have very close friends according to reports.
Apparently he did have access to television during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. He left his entire estate to Kevin Brophy and Peter Barton, a couple of television actors who were very surprised to hear the news.
Brophy got his big break when he was given the title role in the Lucan television series that only stayed on the air for one year. Barton had a longer period of success, and he is perhaps best well known for his role as Dr. Scott Grainger on The Young and the Restless.
The attorney who drew up Ray Fulk’s last will has been quoted as saying that his client sent letters to these two actors. They were nice enough to send brief responses. Presumably this is why Fulk considered them to be his “friends,” which is the term he used to describe his relationship with the actors to his lawyer.
In addition to Barton and Brophy the only other entity on Fulk’s inheritance list was a Chicago area organization that is devoted to the prevention of cruelty to animals. He left the group $5000.
If you would prefer that your estate planning decisions not be a matter of public record, you should consider using a revocable living trust.