By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Estate Planning Attorney
Several years ago, I posted an article about Casey Kasem’s death and how his children and other family members who were fighting over his estate. As I’ve said before, I often follow celebrities and other famous people when it comes to their estate planning or their estates after they’ve passed away because valuable lessons can be learned. In other words, regular people can learn from well-known mistakes made by celebrities when it comes to their own estate planning.
This article will follow up my original article about Casey Kasem’s family and the fight they had over his estate both before and after he passed away. The main reason for the fight was because Casey Kasem had been married several times and had children from each of his different marriages. Some of the children from a previous marriage filed a lawsuit over his estate and also against the wife he was married to when he passed away.
The allegations of the lawsuit were that his current wife caused Casey’s early death as a direct and proximate result of her neglect and physical abuse against him. This all came up because Casey’s children, and his current wife fought bitterly over who should control him before he died in Gig Harbor, Washington, where his wife had taken him from Los Angeles to get him away from his family.
Based on the allegations in the complaint, and also allegations that were made to prosecutors and police, investigations were completed in both California and Washington. These investigations found that there was no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing or any physical abuse. After these investigations were completed and the results were announced, Casey’s children and his current wife settled the pending lawsuit.
The main reason for the fight between Casey’s children and his current wife had to do with being in control of his medical care before he died. After investigating all the news stories there’s no indication that Casey had any type or kind of a durable power of attorney or a power of attorney for health care. These documents are part of a basic written estate plan that give a person the ability to name individuals who will make decisions for them about their money, property, and other finances and their health care or medical decisions if they are no longer capable of making those decisions on their own, while they are alive.
Because Casey did not have these written documents as part of an estate plan, it opened the door for his children and his current wife to fight about who should be given power to make these decisions for him. If he had had these documents, there would have been no basis for any type of a fight. As a result, it’s less likely that the litigations would have occurred.
The walk away lesson from the experience that Casey Kasem’s family had is the importance of having a complete basic written estate plan. With this type of a plan in place, you are in complete control of yourself while you are alive, and in control of distributing your money, property, and other assets from your estate after you have passed away. Additionally, you have the ability of reducing and or eliminating any family fights and litigation that could arise.
If you have any questions about completing your own estate plan so you can avoid the situation that Casey Kasem’s family was faced with, we can help.
ENLIST AN IDAHO ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU
If you have any questions about your estate or how to simplify your plans for your family and loved ones, we can help. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with Lane Erickson and the Racine Olson team of Estate Planning attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email Lane Erickson directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems. I have helped numerous clients create their own customized estate plans and I’m confident that I can help you too.