Casey Kasem Legal Battle Illustrates the Importance of Preparing for a Loved One’s Incapacitated State
In an ideal world, an elderly loved one would get to enjoy their golden years and pass away peacefully and painlessly. Unfortunately, such an ideal world doesn’t exist. In reality, when an elderly loved one becomes stricken with a disease like dementia, the end is painful and traumatizing.
Case in point: the heartbreaking state of affairs for Casey Kasem (picture on right), a beloved radio personality. Mr. Kasem has Lewy body disease, an agreesive form of dementia. He was in the headlines recently after disappearing for a number of days. A California judge issued an order prohibiting Mr. Kasem from traveling anywhere without a court order until he is examined by a doctor.
If Mr. Kasem’s deteriorating health wasn’t bad enough, there is a legal battle between his daughter, Kerri Kasem, and his wife, Jean Kasem. The battle is over who has legal authority to care for Mr. Kasem. The family tension between Kerri and Jean is so extreme that Kerri needed to go to court just to gain visitation rights to see her ailing father, according to CNN.com
This sad state of affairs in the Kasem household is a prime example of why you and your loved ones need to properly plan for the possibility of mental incapacitation. You can add your own personalized definition of disability along with personalized instructions on how your affairs will be handled and who will be in charge. Essentially you can control how and when you give up control of your affairs.
It’s difficult to contemplate not being able to make your own decisions, but it’s something you need to consider and properly plan for. Medical experts suggest that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the National Institute for Aging
If you do become mentally incapacitated, you don’t want your loved ones to be left without any guidance on what to do, and you probably don’t want a judge to be making these very personal decisions over your care.
Take the time to plan accordingly.