By Sarah Stewart Legal Group
In the last month, 2 iconic American heroes have faced legal trouble due to aging that highlight the need for proper elder care planning, Stan Lee and Buzz Aldrin.
Stan Lee is the 95 year old godfather of the Marvel comic universe and usually appears in cameos in Marvel movies. Buzz Aldrin is one of the first men to walk on the moon during the U.S. moon landing on July 21, 1969. He is now 88 years old.
In June, Stan Lee’s caregiver, Keya Morgan, came under investigation by Los Angeles police for elder abuse. Morgan is accused of exploiting Lee’s impaired vision, hearing, and judgement by isolating Lee from his family and friends and moving him out of his longtime home.
Morgan is a memorabilia dealer who befriended Lee’s only child, J.C. Lee, and began taking control over Lee’s assets and home. A restraining order filed by an attorney for Lee claims Morgan used Lee’s advanced age and impairments to unduly influence him and isolate him.
Morgan reportedly fired Lee’s workers, including the longtime attorney who filed the restraining order, and isolated Lee from friends and family, including his only daughter.
Investigations are ongoing.
In late June, Buzz Aldrin filed a lawsuit against 2 of his children and a former business manager. He accuses them of improperly using his credit cards, transferring his money without his permission, and slandering him by wrongfully claiming he is suffering from dementia.
A week before Aldrin filed his lawsuit, the 2 children named in the lawsuit filed a case in Florida asking to be named as his legal Guardians. They claimed Aldrin was the subject of elder abuse by new friends who isolated him from family, gained control over his assets, and were spending his assets quickly.
The Petition claimed Aldrin suffers from confusion, memory loss, and delusions. In April, Aldrin took an evaluation with a geriatric psychologist and was found to be in superior mental health. A Court-appointed mental health evaluation was set to take place the week Aldrin filed his lawsuit.
Aldrin’s case asked the Judge to remove his son as Trustee from his accounts and claimed he revoked a power of attorney he issued to his son earlier, but his son continued to make financial decisions and business decisions on his behalf.
Aldrin accuses his daughter, and also his former business manager Christina Korp, of conspiracy, fraud, elder abuse and exploitation, and unjust enrichment. Aldrin’s lawsuit includes several businesses and foundations he owns.
The lawsuit is currently pending.
As people age, their hearing, eyesight, mobility, and reasoning can become affected. In order to properly protect their accounts, homes, and businesses, those close to retirement age should put plans in place to protect their assets and name people they can trust to work on their behalf when they cannot.
These documents usually decrease the need for a court intervention and guardianship. But, if a guardianship becomes necessary, they often name someone the person trusted prior to their impairments to act for them.
Everyone should have a proper estate plan. If you or someone you love is reaching retirement age and hasn’t made an estate plan, reach out to a professional you trust today!