Many Ohio residents are likely familiar with the name, or voice of, Casey Kasem. A DJ and voiceover actor for decades, Kasem is best known for both hosting the popular radio show "American Top 40" and for providing the voice of the beloved Scooby Doo character, Shaggy. In more recent months, the 81-year-old has been better known for being at the center of a bitter family and estate dispute.
Kasem has suffered from the ill-effects of Parkinson's disease for years, which recently left the man who was famous for his voice, unable to speak. In 2007, Kasem signed legal documents giving one of his daughters and her husband power of attorney to make decisions related to his health should he become incapacitated.
However, despite being named to carry out this important task, to date, Kasem's daughter and son-in-law have not been allowed to even see their ailing loved one. At the center of the dispute over the popular DJ's health is his wife of 30 years, Jean Kasem. According to Kasem's grown children, Jean has not allowed them to see their father to determine his mental and physical state.
In response, Kasem's children recently filed a petition requesting that a conservator be temporarily appointed to report on and provide for their father's mental and physical health. A judge, however, denied the request citing that a court-appointed representative was able to confirm that Casey Kasem was being well cared for and looked after by his wife Jean.
Currently, Kasem's children have expressed no plans to take further legal action. This case proves, however, how complex and contentious matters related to end of life and health care decisions can become. Kasem's children contend their father informed them long ago that they were not in his will and that the most-recent legal action was out of pure love and concern for their father.
Source: Fox2 Now, "Judge rejects conservatorship for Casey Kasem," Alan Duke, Nov. 20, 2013