On 28 October, it emerged that the actor Matthew Perry, who is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the sitcom Friends, had died at the age of 54. In the wake of Perry’s death, a number of questions remain unanswered. Among them is the issue of who will receive the multi-million-dollar residual payments that he received each year from the hit NBC series.
How much do Friends stars get in residuals?
According to USA Today, Friends rakes in around $1 billion each year for Warner Bros, the studio that owns the distribution rights to the show. This translates into an annual payment of around $20 million for each of its six co-stars – Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer. They all reportedly receive 2% of the studio’s syndication income from the comedy, which ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004.
What were Perry’s inheritance options?
Speaking to CNBC, the financial planner Charlie Douglas, who is president of HH Legacy Investments in Atlanta, says there are three inheritance avenues for Perry’s Friends residuals.
Douglas explains that the Hollywood performers’ union, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, enables its members to list a person or people that they want their residuals to go to in the event of their death. However, as Perry was not married and did not have children, it is unclear who he would have chosen as his beneficiary or beneficiaries. It’s also possible that he could have selected a charity or charities to receive his Friends royalties.
Another possibility, Douglas reveals, is that Perry opted for his residuals to go to a trust rather than directly to any individual or organisation. In this scenario, the ultimate recipients of the money would depend on the terms of the trust. Trusts are not a matter of public record, so in this scenario it may never come to light where Perry’s residuals end up.
Source: Diario AS