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Casey Kasem – Fame No Insulation From Elder Law Struggles

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Casey Kasem Elder Law | Arizona Elder Abuse Lawyer | Berk & Moskowitz, PC

Casey Kasem is the well-known host of the nationally syndicated countdown show “American Top 40” and for voicing Shaggy in the Saturday morning cartoon franchise “Scooby-Doo.” The iconic disc jockey recently passed away at the age of 82.

Preceding his passing, Mr. Kasem’s family had been in and out of Los Angeles courts, bitterly trying to win conservatorship, assert decision-making rights on his behalf, and ultimately, to ask the court to allow Mr. Kasem to be removed from artificial hydration and feeding.

The public became aware of the acrimony in May when Mr. Kasem temporarily dropped out of sight before finally being found in the state of Washington. Mr. Kasem was living with the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system.

Mr. Kasem’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, Kerri Kasem, requested and was granted temporary conservatorship from a California Superior Court Judge. The status of her father’s health, finances, and potential elder abuse were the basis for granting conservatorship, according to this news article. The hearing revealed a shocking fact—the people left in charge of Mr. Kasem’s safety and welfare claimed to be unsure of his whereabouts.

At the time of the May hearing, there were conflicting reports about whether Mr. Kasem was being deliberately kept away from some of his family, or whether he may be in a location unknown to everyone. Since that time, it has been alleged that Mr. Kasem’s wife, Jean, purposefully removed him from his feeding tube while in nursing care and moved him to Washington in order to evade Kerri and her siblings. Kerri Kasem reportedly will file elder abuse charges based on this and other actions taken by Jean. [Read more…]

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GUARDIANSHIP DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY SUSPEND DRIVER’S LICENSE

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A guardian may be appointed for a person (the “ward”) where the ward is incapacitated and a guardian is necessary to care for the needs of the ward.  A guardian generally has the powers over the ward that a parent has over a child.  Among other things, the guardian may decide where the ward lives, and must provide for the ward’s care and education.   The guardian may also arrange for the ward’s medical care. [Read more…]

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GUARDIANSHIP CREATES INFERENCE OF LACK OF CAPACITY

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In probate law, the law presumes that a person has testamentary capacity.  Testamentary capacity is the mental state someone must have to adopt a valid last will and testament.  If someone wants to attack a last will and testament, they must overcome the presumption with some evidence of a lack of capacity or some other basis to undo the will, such as undue influence.  For example, the person attacking the will must show that the person did not know who his family was or did not what property he owned.  So, what happens if a person has a guardian appointed on the same day that he adopts a new last will and testament?  That was the issue addressed by the Court in Estate of James S. Blackford. [Read more…]

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