Matthew Perry's Death: What Happens to His 'Friends' Fortune

Entertainment lawyer Tre Lovell spoke with ET about the possible future of Perry's estate.

In the wake of Matthew Perry's untimely death over the weekend, questions are swirling regarding the fate and future of the Friends star's estate.

On Tuesday, ET spoke with entertainment lawyer Tre Lovell, who shared some insight on who might end up getting the actor's sizable fortune, since he never married and didn't have any children.

"He makes about $20 million annually in residuals, the entire cast makes that," Lovell shared, "and that will continue for however long the shows continue to replay."

As Lovell explained, "Residuals will continue after somebody's death. It's like an obligation that is paid to the actor and will continue to his heirs."

In light of Perry's death, Lovell explained that there will be a designee who will determine where Perry's royalties go for the foreseeable future.

Lovell said that it is currently unknown whether or not Perry had a trust set up to handle his estate, or if he'd arranged a will to determine his assets. If not, his estate would end up going to his next of kin.

"[Given] the fact that he didn't have a spouse or children, it would go to his parents, equally," Lovell said. "It's most likely that each biological parent would receive half of the estate."

That being said, Lovell explained that it's possible Perry had something set up in which at least some part of his estate might go to addiction recovery charities.

"Recovery was a big part of his life. He'd spent millions of dollars to pursue his own recovery, and I'm sure that had a personal effect on him," Lovell shared. "I think it's very likely... because he was very involved himself."

ET learned on Monday that Perry was working on expanding his work with people struggling with addiction through the creation of a foundation just before his death, which occurred on Oct. 28 at his home in Los Angeles, California. 

Perry died from an apparent drowning and reports indicate the late actor was found in his hot tub. He was 54 years old. 

It's unclear how far into the process of creating the foundation the 17 Again actor was when he died, but it would appear Perry was focused on helping others battling the same addiction issues he faced throughout his life. 

In an interview with the New York Times in November 2022, Perry said he "probably spent $9 million or something" over the course of several decades in an effort to get sober and went to rehab some 15 times. 

Captain Scot Williams of the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division told ET on Sunday, "The Robbery-Homicide Division is handling the death investigation involving Matthew Perry and foul play is not suspected at this time."

Capt. Williams added, "I will not comment on what was or was not recovered at the scene, as the investigation is ongoing."

However, he stated that the "LA County Medical Examiner has conducted the autopsy, but Mr. Perry's cause of death determination has been deferred, pending the toxicology results."

The actor is survived by his mother, Suzanne Marie Morrison, and his father, John Bennett Perry.