People in Georgia who were fans of comic book artist Stan Lee may be aware that toward the end of his life, there was some controversy over his estate and his care. Lee said earlier in the year that $1.4 million was missing from his accounts. He also signed a notarized statement saying his daughter had shouted at him and made friends with men who wanted to take advantage of him only to rescind the statement later.
One danger with estate planning, even for people who do not have large fortunes, is that they or others may question their judgment as they age. Older adults might be more likely to be influenced by people who do not have their best interests at heart. This is one reason it can be important to create an estate plan that includes powers of attorney and makes preparations in case a person becomes incapacitated. People may also want to ask professionals with whom they are working on the estate plan how cognitive decline is determined and what would happen next.
There are several other issues people should keep in mind and might want to discuss with a professional including whether they need a trust or other documents and how often the plan should be reviewed. They might also want to discuss the estate plan with beneficiaries.
One important element of an estate plan and making sure that a person’s wishes are carried out is choosing the right people for various roles. An estate plan usually has an executor or an administrator, and this can be a family member. The person should be organized but can get professional help and does not need to have financial or legal expertise. People may also be appointed to manage the person’s finances and healthcare if the person becomes incapacitated.