Fans of many iconic fictional superheroes in Ohio and around the world are mourning the recent passing of writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee at the age of 95. When it comes to Lee's estate, there appears to be a tangled web of complexities that would even present some challenges for Spider-Man. While often a spouse would handle estate matters, Lee's wife passed in 2017. Also, the former Marvel chairman was accused of sexual harassment by nurses and home aides, and he made claims about money being missing from his bank accounts.
It's not known what the extent of Lee's estate planning efforts were or if he had a will or any trusts set up. The complex part of what's going on with the prolific writer's assets centers around the fact that he worked with and severed ties with several business managers and lawyers over the years. Lee himself had commented about mistakenly letting some people manage his money who weren't trustworthy.
Another complication of Lee's estate, which will likely be handled to some extent by his daughter, is that numerous documents are floating around. The potential risk here is that some of Lee's former business managers and attorneys may come forward and claim that they have the right to make certain estate decisions. Further complicating matters are accusations Lee had made against his daughter, claiming she spent too much money and had questionable relationships with men only interested in taking advantage of him. However, Lee later took back his allegations.
It's not necessary to have the kind of assets Stan Lee had to benefit from smart and strategic estate planning. An attorney may help prepare a will that clearly spells out who gets what and who will be able to make important decisions after an individual passes. A lawyer may also recommend additional documents like a living will, which would address health-related matters should an individual become incapable of making sound decisions about their own care. A durable power of attorney is specific to financial decision-making. Trusts can also be set up to handle future estate earnings and distributions.