Estate planning and proper preparation for the future are key for New Yorkers of all ages and in every financial situation. This is especially true for people who are wealthy, prominent and getting up in years. For people who are in this situation, having legal assistance is a must to make certain that there is adequate protection for every aspect of their lives. Evidence of how crucial this is recently became evident when the comic book creator and icon Stan Lee died at age 95.
Mr. Lee had been ailing for approximately one year. His daughter, 68, is his sole heir after his wife’s death in July 2017. Other issues have hampered Mr. Lee including allegations of sexual harassment made by caregivers and his bank accounts being short of significant money. He asserted that around $850,000 of that missing money was used to buy a condominium. In addition, he had business managers with whom he’d had disagreements and parted ways. For his part, Mr. Lee seemed aware of the issues as he stated he knew he had had problems with business managers and others involved in his life and asserted others should be cautious.
For people who are in this situation – or any circumstance where they are unsure of where to turn with their estate plan and future care – having an idea of how to navigate this process is critical. With any estate plan, there are basic documents like a will, a power of attorney and more that can account for any eventuality. A common factor that should be considered is how the person’s cognition is impacted by age and illness. Mr. Lee claimed that his daughter had been abusive towards him and was consorting with a man who intended to manipulate him. He later recanted.
When there are several documents regarding their assets and turmoil in a person’s life, it becomes even more vital to have an estate plan that addresses all these issues from the start and people who have the individual’s best interests in mind with nothing to gain from it. Health care proxies, trusts, guardianships, wills – all are beneficial in these cases. A law firm that cares about its clients and their future will help to craft estate planning strategies to avoid this type of rancor and help people with their needs. This is the call that should be made at any juncture in the estate planning process.