Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Potential estate planning problems and tips for avoiding them

New York fans of comic book artist Stan Lee may know that he ran into some issues with his finances and his associates before his death. For example, earlier this year, he said that $1.4 million went missing from his account. In a dispute with his daughter, he signed a notarized document claiming she befriended men who wanted to take advantage of him among other accusations and then took it back. Furthermore, he has worked with several managers and attorneys throughout his career.

Although it has not yet been reported whether he had an estate plan, his daughter may have a lot of paperwork to get in order. This can be the case even when people do not have large, complex estates. There are also certain documents everyone needs as part of an estate plan including powers of attorney and a will or a trust.

There are a number of questions people may want to take into account when preparing an estate plan and discussing their situation with a professional. For example, they will need to consider how assets will be organized and whether they need a trust. They may want to find out what situation would lead to a declaration of being incapacitated. They might also want to talk about how to choose the right person to take over in this situation.

Choosing the right people to manage various parts of an estate plan is one of the most important elements. The executor of a will needs to be well-organized and trustworthy but usually does not need to have legal or financial expertise. On the other hand, a trustee might need this kind of background. The person appointed to take over healthcare decisions in case of incapacity may need to be someone who is compassionate and can make decisions in stressful situations.

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