You’ve heard about it in the news before, and maybe from your attorney – elder abuse.
This particular topic is very personal to me as my Mom died due to neglect when she lived in a nursing home. It was many years ago, but it still happens today. The irony is that she was an RN who was always taking care of others. Even in the nursing home setting she was always offering to help others, lend a hand or give assistance to those who were unable to help themselves because of illness or physical handicap.
Please pay close attention to your loved ones who live in a nursing home or hospice setting. Try to visit them as often as you can. If you cannot be there as much as you want, find out what the routine is, who is on staff, what the process is for getting help. Be a strong advocate for your elderly parents or relatives. It may save a life.
You think it can’t happen to you or your loved one, but recent news stories show that not only can it happen to you, but it can happen to those that we think are nearly untouchable.
Stan Lee, the comic book legend who created characters for Marvel including the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, Incredible Hulk, Avengers, and more, is estimated to be worth $50 to $70 million. But even he wasn’t immune from elder abuse.
Lee’s former business partner and caretaker, Keya Morgan, was recently charged with three felony crimes including grand theft of a dependent adult or elder, false imprisonment, and elder abuse, a misdemeanor crime.
Lawyers say that Morgan isolated Lee from his family and moved him into a condominium from his home. He was also exerting undue influence over Lee and allegedly mishandled more than $5 million of Lee’s money.
What about Lee’s estate?
Since Lee’s death, there has been plenty of talk about what will happen to his estate. His wife passed away in 2017, so the likely heirs are his brother and his daughter. Lee did mention during an interview in October before his death that his daughter was going to be his sole heir. He said he was giving money to her as much as he could now instead of waiting until he died.
The specific details surrounding Lee’s estate haven’t yet been disclosed, but what is known is that Lee fired his attorney and changed his mind about some of the things he had planned for his estate.
Since his passing, Lee’s estate could experience further complications because several legal representatives have been in charge of his affairs. Lee did have a trust for his daughter, but it is not known whether he had a will or other trusts.
Is your estate planning adequate?
Any time estate planning involves an individual with significant assets, an estate planning attorney will be needed to make things easier to manage.
If elder manipulation or abuse is a concern, there are documents that can be put into place to protect assets and prevent a take over of assets. If there are concerns about possible actions of trustee, such as Lee had with his daughter, your attorney may also suggest naming a trust protector.
An experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure all steps are taken to protect the things that you have worked so hard for. Call Alex for more information.