On November 12, 2018, the world lost an entertainment and comic book icon. Stan Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber, passed away at the age of 95. As the former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, Lee played a role in creating some of the most memorable and popular characters known to pop culture. However, this success also led to financial strife that complicated his estate.
Stan Lee’s Estate Planning Challenges
Known for co-creating characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, Lee was no stranger to success. But that same success brought hardship to Lee’s financial affairs. According to an interview with the Daily Beast, the comic icon has severed ties with many business associates over the years. Analysts believe that some of these former associates may try to lay claim to parts of Lee’s estate. If they do come forward, it could lead to courtroom battles as epic as the comic book tales Lee helped create.
Lee was also targeted by financial predators in his later years. He was forced to file declarations against three of the individuals accused of trying to take control of his assets. One of these individuals—a memorabilia collector turned caregiver—was even served a restraining order.
Another challenge Lee faced was the alleged financial misbehavior of his 68-year-old daughter. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Joan Celia Lee racked up credit card bills in excess of $20,000 every month. She was even accused of committing elder abuse against her parents in 2017. To combat this irresponsibility, Lee set up a trust for his daughter in order to keep her from squandering her inheritance. Despite this deft estate planning move, the challenges facing the Lee estate continue to pile up.
Could These Problems Affect My Estate Plans?
Though the lives of celebrities can seem disconnected from the struggles of normal people, their estate troubles are often very common. Many normal people face financial predators, former business partners and irresponsible relatives when planning their estates. But there are solutions that can help you when facing these challenges. Drafting a will, establishing power of attorney or even setting up a living trust can help prevent these estate issues. To learn more about estate planning and how it can help prevent problems before they happen, come to our free workshop. We can help you learn what it takes to create a legacy that will last after you are gone.
From the Family First Estate Planning Law Center—Helping families through the tough times.