What We Can Learn From Stan Lee’s Estate Planning?
Stan Lee was known for co-creating iconic characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four. These creations helped the man build a fortune in addition to touching the lives of people all over the world; however, his legacy could be in danger thanks to past financial mistakes and individuals trying to take advantage of his estate.
What Problems Are Affecting Stan Lee’s Estate?
On November 13, Stan Lee died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 95. The comic book legend was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years and survived by his 68-year-old daughter. His long list of memorable comic book characters has transcended cultures and generations, creating an incredible legacy, but his assets face a more uncertain future.
Later in life, Lee faced many difficulties when it came to his estate. Financial predators reportedly tried to take control of Lee’s assets. He filed a declaration against three of these alleged predators. He was also granted a restraining order against a memorabilia collector who acted as a caregiver after Lee’s wife passed away in 2017. He was also forced to declare his daughter financially irresponsible when she tried to change the terms of her trust and take control of her father’s assets. She allegedly spends $20,000 to $40,000 a month on credit cards, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Other problems with Lee’s assets include bad dealings with former business associates. Analysts believe that some of these individuals may come forward with documents laying claim to parts of Lee’s estate. A series of courtroom showdowns may be on the horizon.
What Are the Solutions for These Problems?
Financial predators, irresponsible inheritors and old business dealings are not unique to Stan Lee or other celebrities. Normal people also face these issues and must find solutions that will ensure that their inheritors are able to benefit from their legacies.
Establishing a living trust can help in this process. You can plan for contingencies that include who is in charge of your estate should you become incapable of managing your own affairs. Setting this up ahead of time can help prevent financial predators from bullying you into giving them control of your assets. It can also set up a structure to prevent fighting among your inheritors.
Though it is unknown if Lee had a Will, the families of Aretha Franklin and Prince are having to deal with the fallout of a missing Will in probate court. Such a process could result in years of litigation and put a massive strain on families.
A trust, whether established during your lifetime or in your Will could also provide solutions when dealing with irresponsible beneficiaries. These trusts can be managed by a trustee to ensure that the beneficiary uses these assets wisely. Lee established a trust to help ensure his daughter didn’t waste her inheritance, and so can you.
Estate planning often provides strong solutions for the problems that develop in your golden years. To learn more about these possibilities, consult Wiegand Attorneys & Counselors, LLC. We have been providing estate planning, business law and tax services since 1977.