Thanks to healthier living and better medicine, people are living longer in California. However, the mind does not necessarily stay sharp into old age. A loss of mental capacity can leave a person financially vulnerable. This is particularly true if the individual has a significant amount of money and does not have a trust in place. A decision to transfer assets into a trust could ensure that a person’s estate is handled according to his or her wishes should one become incapacitated.
The estate of Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel Comics superheroes such as Iron Man, Black Panther and Spiderman is said to be the target of financial predators. Mr. Lee, who is 95, is said to be suffering from vision loss, hearing loss and mental impairment and family members and colleagues are reportedly trying to gain control of his considerable assets. With people living longer, estate planners are concerned that such situations will become more common.
There are steps that a person can take to protect his or her estate should one become incapacitated. One step a person can take is to consolidate accounts. If assets are spread over multiple institutions they can be hard to track. Also transferring the assets into a trust allows a person to indicate how the assets will be managed, and by whom, in the event of his or her becoming mentally or physically incapacitated.
A person considering making changes to an existing estate plan or who is beginning the task, may benefit from speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney in California. A knowledgeable attorney can advise a person on how to transfer assets into a trust or advise on other options that are available. Having a sound estate plan in place can help ensure that a person’s final wishes are successfully carried out.