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Stan Lee's messy estate shows the importance of planning

Superhero co-creator Stan Lee has many fans in Florida. The 95-year-old Lee, who was the creator behind Spider-Man and the former chairman of Marvel Comics, passed away in November 2018. However, like a number of celebrities who left behind significant estates, his financial planning left much to be desired. If he does not have a will, there could be many challenges in probate court. Other celebrity estates, including those of Prince and Aretha Franklin, face ongoing disputes between heirs.

In Lee's case, there may be potential estate documents submitted as well, especially as he is known to have worked with financial advisors and lawyers over the years. He also accused some of these professionals of misleading him and mismanaging his money, but it is unclear if he ever created a will. As people age, they may also become increasingly unable to make their own decisions about their assets. Cognitive decline can also make estate owners more vulnerable to manipulation. This is why it can be important for healthy people to make decisions about their assets.

There are a number of issues that estate owners can consider when planning for the future, including how to distribute assets and how to plan for future disability or incapacitation. They can also think carefully about who they want to name as an executor or power of attorney in order to ensure they are choosing trustworthy people.

Once an estate plan is in place, it's important to keep it up to date to make sure it reflects current goals. Estate planning attorneys can help clients draft key documents and review their wills, trusts and powers of attorney to ensure that they are accurate.

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