$1 Million Estate Surprises Actors

March 8, 2013

Back in the late 1980s through to the early 1990s Peter Barton played the role of Dr. Scott Grainger on The Young and the Restless, a popular soap opera. Undoubtedly he had many fans during that era, but one of them would surprise him many years later.
Barton worked on a film called Hell Night in 1981 with fellow actor Kevin Brophy. They became friends while they were filming the movie, but they never knew that they were joined together in the mind of an Illinois man named Ray Fulk.
Fulk died last summer in possession of over $200,000 in cash and certificates of deposit. He also owned 160 acres of property that has been appraised at around $1 million.
In 1997 an attorney named Donald Behle was retained by Fulk to draw up an estate plan. He told the attorney that Peter Barton and Kevin Brophy were his friends, and he wanted to leave his entire estate to them after $5000 was set aside for an animal welfare group.
The actors never actually met Ray Fulk in person. Behle went through his client's papers and found out that Brophy and Barton had responded to letters sent to them by Fulk, who presumably was a fan of their work.
This is certainly an unconventional decision, but at the same time Fulk had no family and no close personal relationships and he had to leave his resources to someone.
You can do what you please with your estate, but if you are going to make decisions that could be brought into question you would do well to work with an estate planning attorney to state your final wishes in an ironclad manner.

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