Estate planning and the various issues that can arise from it can affect people of all walks of life. Although many in California may think that estate planning is mainly meant for the rich, this simply isn’t the case. It can be beneficial, however, to look at how estate planning issues affect the wealthy, as it can have direct correlations with the average person.
As an example, let us look at Stan Lee, the co-creator of many popular comic book characters, including Spider Man and the Hulk. The 95-year-old, whose estate may be worth as much as $50 million, currently suffers from a multitude of health problems, including hearing, vision and memory issues. These issues may be putting his estate at risk. How? According to some individuals, Lee’s health problems make him susceptible to undue influence.
This is a common problem when people reach older ages, as it often becomes easier for parties to try to gain control of an estate’s assets. One way to avoid this potential problem is to consolidate assets as much as possible. As one ages, it is much easier to remember and understand a few accounts compared to a dozen or more. Also, a type of revocable trust, known as a standby revocable trust, can allow a trustee to take over management of the trust if the individual currently managing it becomes incapacitated. This usually requires having a medical professional provide some sort of evidence showing incapacitation. However, this step can help avoid others from exercising undue influence when one is most vulnerable.
When it comes to estate planning and creating trusts, choosing appropriate trustees can be key to ensuring that assets remain protected. Although many individuals choose those who are closest to them to help manage their estate, this can sometimes backfire. Therefore, those considering executing an estate plan should have a full understanding of the estate planning process and the steps that one can take to ensure such a plan meets his or her unique needs.