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Court limits the guardianship of Casey Kasemís wife

Gregory A. Lang

The legal skirmishes that have been troubling the family of the ailing radio and television star Casey Kasem have taken a new turn. His wife has recently been served with a court order that limits the guardianship that she has for Kasem. Due to concerns that Kasem’s health and welfare are not being properly looked after, the court order temporarily suspended his wife’s powers to make important decisions about Kasem’s medical care.

Guardianships and conservatorships are legal arrangements that appoint a guardian or conservator to make certain decisions on behalf of another person because of physical or mental ailments that prevent a person from making his or own decisions. They can be an effective and sometimes essential tool in estate planning and estate administration for people who may become unable to care for themselves or to make sound decisions concerning their own welfare. These documents allow the appointed party or parties to make financial, medical or living decisions for a protected person.

In this case, it was the guardianship that has come under fire. Kasem is suffering from a type of dementia known as Lewy Body Disease. His daughter has voiced concerns that her stepmother is trying to block doctors from seeing her father, and that as a result he is not receiving proper medical care.

In addition to limiting his wife’s powers under the guardianship, the court order expands the powers of Kasem’s daughter to determine whether he is receiving adequate medical attention.

Guardianships and conservatorships often involve tough questions, complex decisions and can, as in Kasem’s case, become litigious. Those seeking a conservatorship for a loved one or those wishing to challenge an existing conservator or guardian should consult with an attorney to discuss their options for how to proceed.

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