The world lost one of the most well-known radio personalities of all-time when Kasey Kasem passed this past Fathers’ Day, losing his battle to Lewy body disease, a common form of dementia. The famous radio host is best known for his countdown shows like “America’s Top 40,” and his role as Shaggy’s voice in “Scooby Doo,” but people should learn from the turmoil surrounding his end-of-life care decisions.
Kasem’s second wife, Jean, and his two children were at odds about how to handle the radio legend’s final health decisions. Both sides waged a legal battle over whether to let him die peacefully and surrounded by family (as his children claimed were his wishes) and continuing life-saving treatment. Kasem’s wife said he would have wanted to be kept alive if at all possible.
The interesting thing is that Kasem actually completed an advanced healthcare directive, but that ultimately was not enough. Kasem’s daughter, Kerri, has recently filed an elder abuse lawsuit against her estranged stepmother, signaling the battle will likely get much worse before anything gets better.
We can all learn something from Kasey Kasem’s story. Simply drafting advanced directives is not enough; you must discuss these wishes with your entire immediate family and make sure they understand your wishes completely. There can’t be any gray area or any room for interpretation. Don’t leave your final wishes to chance. Speak with an experienced elder care lawyer who will draft your documents so they cannot be successfully disputed.
Many of us delay creating end-of-life health care directives or having that discussion with our loved ones – for many reasons. However, it’s crucial to make your healthcare wishes known. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy your last weeks and months with your loved ones by your side, rather than watching them battle it out in court?
Bratton Scott Attorneys at Law is pleased to announce a new addition to the team. Anne Markel-Crozier BSW, CSW, works closely with clients in the areas of elder law and life care. Call our offices today to speak with her or one of our knowledgeable elder care attorneys about your specific needs.