Comic book writer Stan Lee, known best for his Marvel Comics work, passed away on November 12, 2018. While few details are yet available about the size, makeup, or heirs of his estate, there is widespread speculation that it may be a messy, complicated affair before all is said and done.
Given the drama that unfolded in the later years of Lee’s life, including public claims that Lee sexually harassed nurses and home health aides and accusations that his 68-year old daughter was verbally abusive, financially irresponsible, and that she befriended several men who wanted to take advantage of Lee, it seems unlikely that administration of his estate will be drama-free.
It isn’t clear yet whether Lee had a Will or Trust in place when he died. If he didn’t, he will join the ranks of other notable celebrities who died without planning their estates, including Aretha Franklin and Prince. Complicating matters, Lee made it clear that he worked with many business advisors and attorneys over the years. This raises the chances that different parties could produce documents and records asserting their claims on Lee’s estate.
Celebrity estate matters serve as a good reminder for us non-celebrities about the importance of creating and maintaining estate plans and planning documents that reflect our wishes at various stages of our lives.
People have different goals for their estates, but one common thread is making estate administration as smooth and straightforward as possible for whoever is responsible for handling your affairs during periods of lifetime incapacity, and for settling things when you die.
When you are proactive and work with an estate planning attorney, you can plan for worst-case scenarios and for the inevitable. Through careful planning, you may be able to avoid probate, minimize estate and inheritance taxes, create a legacy for loved ones or for a favorite charitable cause, and clearly document your wishes about how, to whom, and when assets will be distributed.
Estate planning gives you a measure of control that many celebrities sadly don’t have before they die. To learn more and to schedule a meeting to start your own estate planning, contact us today. Our comprehensive services include drafting advance health care directives, HIPAA Authorizations, durable powers of attorney, pour-over wills, guardianship nominations, revocable living trusts, complex trust instruments, and guidance to properly title assets in trust title.
From estate planning to trust administration, we help you from start to finish. We work with families at all stages of their lives to help protect their futures. Our services are customized to your specific goals and will alleviate your unique concerns!