Casey Kasem, as you probably already know, was a beloved icon in American radio and television: he was the host of American Top 40, American Top 20, and American Top 10 from the 1970s through his retirement several years ago. He was also the voice of Shaggy in Scooby-Doo.
Sadly, Casey Kasem was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, the second-most common from of dementia after Alzheimer’s. This disease is progressive and has no cure. Casey’s health had been in decline for some time before his death, and he was no longer able to care for himself.
Because of this, the legend relied on family members to care for him and look out for his best interests. Unfortunately, that family was in the midst of a feud. Kasem’s wife, Jean, and his children from a previous marriage, Kerri, Julie, and Mike fought over who should control his care.
Last year, the children filed a petition claiming that Jean was isolating their father and preventing him from seeing his family. The petition also claimed that Jean was preventing them from checking on his health. This meant, the petition said, that they couldn’t determine if Kasem’s health care power of attorney document went into effect—a document they claimed Kasem signed in 2007 to give Julie and her husband power of attorney over his health.
At that time, the judge denied their petition. A new judge, however, recently awarded Kerri temporary durable power of attorney and health care directive, according to a CNN report. This ruling means that Kerri had control of Kasem’s care until his passing. Had he lived, the next court hearing would have determined if the conservatorship should become permanent or not.
Our thoughts are with his family during their time of grief.
Having a health care power of attorney is crucial if you want to avoid the type of feuding that devastated Kasem’s family. Whether you are young or old, healthy or not, this document can let your family know your wishes and designate someone to oversee your care if you are unable to care for yourself.
If you have questions about health care power of attorney, feel free to contact the estate planning lawyers at Lovett & House Co., LPA in Dayton, Ohio.