Most, if not all, readers in Lee County are aware of the importance for creating a will in order to indicate how you want your affairs handled after your death. An important estate planning detail that is often overlooked, however, is how you want to be cared for in case you become either physically or mentally incapacitated. Without a clear plan, the family of an incapacitated individual may dispute who should have the legal responsibility of caring for and handling that person’s affairs.
According to reports, a judge recently denied a request by two of radio personality, Casey Kasem’s adult daughters to be granted emergency conservatorship for their father. The women reportedly became concerned for their father’s well being when their stepmother, his caregiver, stopped allowing them to see their dad. An investigation did not find any evidence to support their claims that Kasem was being isolated and possibly mistreated, prompting the judge to deny their emergency request.
Although the emergency petition was denied, the case is not yet closed. The judge reportedly ordered an independent physician to review Kasem’s medical history and current condition. Those findings will be presented at a follow up hearing to determine Kasem’s mental capacity in 2011 when he signed his power of attorney over to his wife, granting her the legal authority to not only make decisions about his care, but also about who can and cannot visit him and when.
If, like Kasem’s daughters, you are concerned that the person caring for a loved one may not be treating them properly, it may be important to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss taking legal action. A lawyer can explain your options for seeking guardianship or conservatorship and advise you as how best to proceed.
Source: New York Daily News, “Judge orders review of Casey Kasem’s prognosis by independent doctor”, Nancy Dillon, Oct. 16, 2013