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Famed superhero creator’s estate battle offers instructive lessons

It’s unlikely that the Black Panther or Spider Man would need any help with this. And a character like the Hulk would certainly confront the challenge in resolute head-on fashion, spending scant little time pounding all obstacles into submission.

It is a bit of a different matter, though, for Stan Lee, the legendary comic genius who created those fictional icons and other top-tier Marvel crime fighters.

Those figures can live on forever in uncompromised strength and glory.

Lee, unfortunately, cannot.

He is human of course and, at age 95, reportedly suffering from some physical and cognitive setbacks that are entirely understandable.

And, because he is a public figure, some rather sad details are emerging currently related to what is clearly an acrimonious battle surrounding Lee’s personal estate. The Marvel mainstay has estimated wealth pegged at north of $50 million. A recent in-depth Investment News article notes that Lee’s accrued fortune “is allegedly under attack from financial predators.”

Reportedly, the individuals wanting a piece of Lee’s wealth span family members, care providers, business associates and additional parties. Varied stories concerning Lee’s estate planning and the existence – or absence – of select executed documents now simply stress the general confusion inherent regarding his finances, coupled with Lee’s vulnerability to be exploited via elder abuse and undue influence.

Some commentators point to Lee’s case as being highly instructive, owing to America’s large and aging senior population. They stress the need of close consultation with proven estate administration professionals who can help ensure that appropriate planning strategies are timely executed to guard against fraud and exploitation.

Not everyone will plan, of course. And because they won’t, says one estate planning analyst, “The Stan Lees will happen more and more.”

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