Those in New Jersey and around the world who grew up reading Marvel comics and watching the blockbuster movies based on those characters are likely familiar with the creator of that world, Stan Lee. Lee built an empire around Iron Man, Doctor Doom, Black Panther and other superheroes and villains. When he died in 2018 at the age of 95, his estate was worth over $50 million. However, recent media reports say that one of Lee’s closest advisors may have violated elder law by committing financial abuse against the comic book legend.
After Lee’s wife died in 2017, Keya Morgan supposedly became Lee’s caretaker. However, soon after that, their relationship seemed to take a dark turn because reports say that one night in 2018, Morgan took Lee from his home and allegedly imprisoned him in a condominium. Police reportedly arrested Morgan several weeks later and charged him with making falsified police reports to frighten Lee. At the time of his death, Lee had a restraining order against his former manager.
The recent arrest of Morgan includes charges that he stole more than $260,000 from personal appearances and business transactions Lee made. He is also facing charges of false imprisonment of an elder and inflicting mental suffering on an elder. While Lee did not survive to see the outcome of this case, family members and beneficiaries of his estate may be watching this criminal trial with interest.
It is uncertain who is handling the matters of Lee’s estate at this time. However, those in similar circumstances have options available to attempt to recoup the losses incurred from the financial abuse of an elder. By filing a claim in civil court with the help of an elder law attorney, a New Jersey victim of financial abuse — or that person’s heirs — can work to obtain the return of illegally acquired funds to the rightful estate.