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Daughter asks court for control of estate after father's death

Longtime soap opera actor Kristoff St. John passed away last month, reportedly without a will, and now his oldest daughter has asked a California court to allow her to take over his affairs.

The young woman, who was born in 1992, filed court documents in Los Angeles seeking to be appointed the administrator of her father's estate. St. John died Feb. 3 at age 52. His body was discovered in his home in the San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office released his cause of death - heart disease - recently. His condition was aggravated by alcohol usage, and the coroner's office revealed his death was accidental. He was known to have a history of bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse and thoughts of suicide.

His death undoubtedly has devastated his loved ones. He is survived by two daughters and his fiancée, and his oldest daughter now is attempting to manage his final affairs in her time of grief.

But the reality is this: We all need to tend to our estate plans - wills, trusts, life insurance and such - and it, indeed, is very difficult to come to terms with our mortality.

Now, this young woman is left to ask herself a big question: "What would Dad want?" How would he have wanted the assets he left behind to be distributed? Did he have a best friend he met through a quarter-century of acting on "The Young and the Restless" who he might have wanted to give a career memento?

The best thing we can do for our loved ones is to prepare an estate plan. This young woman will wait for the court's decision and stand ready to move forward with her dad's final affairs -- a task she likely rather would not do.

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