OMG!! Stan Lee the MAKER of super heroes died! As most of us know, he was the creative genius behind most of Marvel’s super heroes, BUT his wife Joanie was the business force behind their successful business. He left a $70 million estate.
Joanie was the woman behind the man! She pushed him to break the “perfect man” mold and show super heroes as flawed humans doing the best they could with what they had. She also handled the business side and no one could get to our super hero without his business partner’s approval. Why? Because, without Joanie, Lee would have lost tens of millions of dollars because he couldn’t say ‘no’.
Joanie and Stan did what Parent Your Parents advocates – they preplanned! BUT they preplanned for Stan to die first – it never occurred to them that Joanie would predecease Stan. As a consequence, in the last year of Stan’s life, $1.4 million disappeared from his bank account. During that time, he hired several lawyers and accountants to advise him on his money and estate. All we know is that they took his money, there is no evidence of cogent estate advice.
The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) studies show that one in nine seniors report financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect annually. One in twenty adults indicate some form of perceived financial mistreatment. Older adults are simply more susceptible to being influenced by others. This means there can be several documents floating around which in turn can create tangled webs in estate planning. When an estate isn’t clearly delineated, lawyers win.
This is why the Parent Your Parents mantra: PrePlanis so important. Plan for long term care, plan for incapacitation, plan for estate distribution and PLAN IT ALL TOGETHER. Whether it’s $70,000 or $70 million find a trusted advisor, draw up the documents and put them in a safety deposit box. Never assume that one is going to die before the other – accidents happen.
Do this earlier vs. later – it’s so much easier to plan in your sixties and seventies and it allows you to LIVE LIFE . . . no matter when, where or how you die, your wishes are known!