In the 1960s, Stan Lee created some of the most iconic superheroes in comic book history: Professor X, the X-Men, Ironman, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and literally hundreds of others. Few have been as successful in the comics industry, and arguably his greatest success comes from the recent rash of movies. But with great success comes great envy. People are fighting for control of his money. The creator of Guardians of the Galaxy may need his own Guardian – and he probably won’t have a say.
Guardianship. You may have heard of someone who had a guardian appointed and it sounds pretty scary. Usually that means medical professionals have decided that the person (known as the Ward) has lost control and the ability to make decisions for themselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way; sometimes a guardianship can be the most important act of taking control a person can do. I’m talking about a Voluntary Guardianship.
Florida law offers a special tool for people who know they aren’t good at handling their finances and aren’t going to get good at it. You can voluntarily choose a guardian for some or all of your assets. If your car breaks down and you don’t know how to fix it, you hire a mechanic. Since you don’t know what the mechanic does, you pick one you can trust. If you can’t mow your lawn, you get someone you trust to do it the way you want it done. If you have trouble keeping track of your assets or making sure your bills get paid and your investments are sound, you can choose the person you trust and give them that authority.
Stan Lee did not choose, so now his daughter and his manager are fighting each other in court, dragging his personal life through the press in the process. While his wife was alive, she handled those things, but when she died, his manager, Keya Morgan, began isolating Lee from his family and his long-time attorney. Morgan has been charged with filing false police reports and is now the subject of an elder abuse investigation. This has been such a long and painful time for Lee and his daughter.
If only Lee had made the choice and put his daughter in charge, he could have avoided all this and nobody would have questioned his mental capacity. In fact, if you want the court to appoint a voluntary guardian, your doctor must certify that you fully understand what you are doing. Because it is voluntary, you can end it by simply sending notice to the court that you no longer need it. Not only do you get to choose, but the person you choose must account to the court for everything they do in a private and confidential setting – not in the streets. Choose someone you trust and get on with enjoying your life.
If you or someone you know is having trouble handling their property or finances and you think a voluntary guardianship could be a tool you could use, call our office and talk to one of our attorneys.