Though most people find it unpleasant to discuss the end of one’s life, it is still an important topic. Nevada residents need to consider estate planning as a way of ensuring that their wishes for their last days and beyond are honored. The recent passing of radio personality Casey Kasem was very high-profile in the news and shows just how crucial it is for one to have specific directions mapped out in legal documentation.
Kasem’s second wife, Jean, and his children from his first marriage disagreed on exactly how his end-of-life care should be managed. His daughter, Kerri, was named power-of-attorney in the most recent documentation filed in court. A judge upheld that decision, despite argument from Jean. Kerri claimed that her father did not want to be kept alive through artificial means if he was comatose and she had him removed from life support. Jean argued that he had changed his wishes on this matter, but due to the fact that no legal documentation existed to substantiate this claim, the courts left the decisions for his medical care up to Kerri.
This dispute can serve as a reminder that one should consider updating one’s end-of-life documentation every year. A change in a person’s marital status, assets or property should be reflected in their will and full estate plan. Directives can be created that not only address what families should do in the event of the loved one’s passing, but that outline precise medical care wishes and to designate a trusted friend or relative as power of attorney to help make sure that the person’s best interests are being served.
Casey Kasem had a long life of entertaining and making people happy. It is unfortunate that the end of his life was a source of resentment and anger among those who loved him. This is enough reason for families here in Nevada to make estate planning a priority. It can serve to give everyone involved peace of mind and leave little question as to how a person wishes their end of life directives to be administered.
Source: MainStreet.com, “End of Life Lessons to Learn from Casey Kasem“, Juliette Fairley, July 2, 2014