What Stan Lee’s Estate Troubles Can Teach Us About Proper Planning
Comic book creator Stan Lee has been a powerhouse in the industry for decades. Unfortunately, success and wealth often attract predators, and those who don’t take steps to protect themselves can become prey. This is the case for Mr. Lee, whose attorney recently filed a lawsuit against his alleged caretaker for financial elder abuse.
Mr. Lee’s lawsuit states he is unable to “resist undue influence” due to numerous health problems and memory loss. Mr. Lee’s caretaker has been arrested for filing a false police report, and a Los Angeles court issued a restraining order. How exactly how did we get here? Well, Mr. Lee’s wife passed away last year, and with an estimated net worth of $50 million, Mr. Lee is a prime target for financial abuse.
How To Protect Yourself and Your Assets
As we age, we might become unable to make decisions on our own behalf. When this occurs, we need trusted loved ones or advisors to make financial and healthcare decisions for us. Individuals can plan for this scenario by granting someone they trust a power of attorney. A power of attorney provides legal authority to someone, called an agent, to act on behalf of another in all financial, medical, and legal matters.
If you haven’t specified a power of attorney and you are married, under Texas law your spouse has some control over assets and property that you two share. This protects the assets from financial predators, but in Mr. Lee’s case, his wife predeceased him, so there is no other agent with the authority to act on his behalf regarding financial decisions.
Designate Power of Attorney Today
Power of attorney only kicks in when you become incapacitated or are deemed mentally incapable of making your own decisions. You can also specify exactly what authority your agent has over your finances and which financial decisions they can make. Because we can become vulnerable to undue influences in our old age, designating a power of attorney is the only way to protect our finances from untrustworthy individuals.
Power of Attorney Lawyer
At Hensley Krueger LLP, a power of attorney lawyer can analyze your situation and recommend the best type of power of attorney for your needs. Contact us today to begin your comprehensive estate plan.