Aug 21, 2014

No peace for Casey Kasem or his family

Where is the body of Casey Kasem? It was in Washington State. It was in Montreal. Apparently, it's now in Norway. This is like asking Where's Waldo? Only this is no game. 

In a prior post, I discussed the battle between Kasem's wife Jean and his children from his first marriage regarding the late radio icon's end-of-life care. Yet even after his passing, neither he nor the family battle has yet to be put to rest. His children claim their father wanted to be buried in Los Angeles, his home for over half a century. His wife however, who moved Kasem's body from a Washington state funeral home to Montreal without notifying the children, is now asking Norway for permission to bury Kasem in that country. The children contend that Jean's request is a ruse, designed to prevent California medical examiners from examining their father's body for signs of abuse. They also say Jean's claim to Norwegian ancestry is a fabrication. In fact, her nephew has stated that as far as he knows, the family doesn't have "an ounce of Norwegian blood." Along with several family friends, including a former California lieutenant governor, the children have petitioned Norwegian authorities to deny Jean's request. (September 29 update: According to Kasem's daughter, the funeral home in Norway has refused Jean's request to bury her husband.)

Surely all of Kasem's loved ones deserve some peace at this sad time, not an ugly public circus. I suspect, though, that this episode is just a forerunner to an even more protracted conflict that will eventually unfold over Kasem's multimillion dollar estate.

The sickness or death of a family member sometimes brings families closer together. In other cases, it creates animosity, or deepens existing tensions. The Kasem saga is an excellent, if gruesome, demonstration of why people should plan for the possibility of disability, and the certainty of death. A smart estate plan can ensure that your wishes are carried out, and help keep peace in your family. 

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