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Estate planning does not always eliminate confrontations

New Jersey readers may be aware that Casey Kasem -- the voice of "Casey's Top 40," "American Top 40" and Shaggy of "Scooby Doo" -- was recently lying in a hospital bed at the center of a controversy regarding how and when he would die. In May of this year, Kasem's current wife took him from a medical facility in one state and moved him to the home of a friend in another state. Despite his estate planning efforts, his daughter continued to fight in court for her father's wishes to be respected.

At first, a judge ruled that what Kasem's wife did was okay. However, after an emergency hearing that took place, the judge changed his mind. Evidence presented at the hearing indicated that Kasem would suffer too much if given fluids and food. Also presented at the hearing were documents executed by Kasem, indicating his desire not to be given fluids and food if it was determined that he suffered from mental incapacitation.

Despite evidence to the contrary, his wife insisted that Kasem could still communicate without words. She believed that the evidence the judge relied on was either outdated or not reliable in some way. Further, she accused the judge of signing her husband's death warrant.

Even with careful estate planning on the part of New Jersey residents, confrontations can still erupt among family members after an individual passes away. It may be possible to minimize the potential for court battles. However, in the end, lawsuits and objections can be filed, causing unnecessary delays and expenses for all concerned.

Source: komonews.com, "Judge: Daughter can stop food for Casey Kasem", Anthony McCartney, June 11, 2014

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