Casey Kasem became famous as one of the founders and longtime hosts of American Top 40 and the voice of Shaggy on the cartoon series Scooby Doo. However, these days he is making headlines as the subject of a legal dispute between his second wife and his three children from his first marriage.
Casey is confined to his home, bedridden at the age of 81 due to Parkinson’s disease. His wife and caregiver, Jean, has refused to allow Casey’s children to visit him, alleging that any visits would only upset Casey. After a failed attempt by the children to get a conservator (guardian) appointed for Casey, they are now negotiating for visitation with their father, airing the family’s dirty laundry in court.
The saddest part is that, as we see so often, Casey could have spared his family this public drama if he had planned properly. We believe that comprehensive living trust planning includes planning for disability, including leaving detailed instructions as to how you would like to be treated if someone else has to take over your affairs. If Casey had done this type of planning, he could have addressed the predictable discord between Jean and his children by specifically requesting that his children be allowed to visit him, or explaining why he did not want them to visit, if he became disabled.
If you would like to learn more about protecting yourself and your family through comprehensive living trust planning, you are welcome to attend one of our monthly Truth About Estate Planning workshops. The workshop schedule for 2014 is now posted on our website.