Don’t Let What Happened to Stan Lee Happen to You and Your Estate

As many of you may know, Stan Lee (Nee Stanley Martin Lieber) was best known for his creations of such superheroes as Spider-man, the Incredible Hulk, and Black Panther, along with the Marvel Universe.   Lee died on November 12, 2018, at the age of 95.  He had survived his wife Joan B. Lee who died in 2017.   Stan had one child, Joan C. Lee.

In a long declaration signed by Stan Lee in February of 2018, Lee wrote much of the history of his dealings with his daughter.   Stan was very disturbed by the fact that his daughter who is now 68 years old, had no job and continued to make financial demands of him, when time and time again, he had told her that he did not want to relinquish his assets to her.   He wrote the declaration in the context of facts that were preserved for a conservatorship, and later, in the event of a trust contest.

He noted signs of abuse in his declaration:

  1. Demands for execution of Grant Deeds from father to daughter.
  2. Daughter yelled and screamed at him if he did not capitulate to her demands.
  3. Daughter cried hysterically when she was ineffective after screaming at him.
  4. She has never had the ability to manage money.
  5. She demanded that her lawyers review and comment on Stan’s Trust.

Stan instructed his lawyer to create an irrevocable trust to meet his goals which were two-fold: 1) his daughter would never. Be homeless; and 2) so that his properties would not be sold, but if sold, would be available to produce some rental income for the daughter.  Historically, Stan and his wife had mistakenly provided between $20,000 – $40,000 per month to their daughter, whose appetite for cash could not be quenched.

Incidents of financial elder abuse are becoming very common among the aging population in Los Angeles County and can be prevented through a conservatorship.  The moral of the story is to recognize the signs that your family member may becoming abusive and want to take control of your life and your money.   To discuss your financial affairs with an elder law attorney who is experienced in family matters involving financial and estate planning for children who are unable to manage funds, call attorney Mina Sirkin at 818.340.4479 or email:

By: Mina N. Sirkin, California Board Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law located in Los Angeles County.