When it comes to estate planning, most people hope that the process will go easily and there will be few bumps along the way. But when failing health and family feuds get thrown into the mix, the process can get incredibly complicated and leave a mess that only a court judge may be able to sort out.
We can see this playing out in a California courtroom this month with the estate of famed radio voice Casey Kasem. Suffering from advanced stages of Parkinson's disease, much of the celebrity's health care needs have been seen to by his wife. But according to Kasem's three children and several family members, they have not been allowed to see Kasem in his dying days and have therefore had to resort to legal action.
As some of our readers may know, Kasem’s three children recently filed for conservatorship in an effort to gain power of attorney over their father’s estate. While they argue that they were already awarded power of attorney back in 2007, Kasem’s wife claims that this was nullified by a different directive in 2011, leaving both parties debating over who has control over Kasem’s medical wishes.
While this family feud may seem like something only celebrities face, you’d be surprised to learn how often situations like this happen to every-day people such as yourself. The quick progression of an illness or a sudden death may mean that some end-of-life wishes never get documented, leaving them open for speculation among family members. Legal representation is often key in situations like this because a lawyer knows how the law works and how best to resolve family disputes before they get out of hand.
Source: US Weekly, "Casey Kasem's Wife Jean Kasem Challenges Conservatorship Filing From Stepkids," Allison Takeda, Oct. 15, 2013