While many people in Minnesota may be fans of Stan Lee's comic book art and creative work, they may not want to emulate his estate planning choices. The 95-year-old man passed away in November 2018, survived by his 68-year-old daughter. In 2017, his wife of 70 years passed away, and earlier in the year, he reported that $1.4 million was missing from his savings. Lee has also admitted that he had untrustworthy financial planners early in his career.
One challenge may be that when seniors most urgently need an estate plan, they are often less able to create one. People at very advanced ages may begin to suffer from cognitive decline, sometimes to the extent that it can lessen their abilities to make informed and clear choices. This can leave estate planners vulnerable to fraud and abuse, but it can also lead them to distrust close friends and family with no ill intentions. These situations can highlight the importance of moving forward with an estate plan at a younger age.
There are a number of questions people can keep in mind when planning for the future. An estate planning attorney can help a client draw up key documents and develop an overall plan to deal with different kinds of assets.
This can involve designating a trusted contact, usually also the executor of the will or the holder of a power of attorney. Even after a plan is in place, it is important to review key documents on an ongoing basis to make sure that they are current and reflect changes in the estate owner's life.