Ohio residents were recently saddened to learn of the death of the legendary Casey Kasem. Many can likely recall listening to Kasem's smooth and calming voice as he counted down the weekly top 40 hits and read listeners' touching letters and dedications. More recently, details surrounding Kasem's final months read more like the script of a Hollywood drama in which his second wife and three children from his first marriage battled for control over and access to the radio legend.
Kasem's death was attributed to complications related to Alzheimer's disease. Sadly, during his final years, the man who was known worldwide for his iconic voice, was unable to speak and suffered severe memory loss and dementia. As his condition worsened, his wife Jean Kasem allegedly took action to prevent Kasem's three children from his first marriage from talking to or seeing their father.
Kasem's net worth is reported to be around $80 million and the details of his will and estate plan have not been made public. According to Jean Kasem, Kasem's three oldest children wanted little to do with their father until learning about his failing health. In an effort to protect her husband, Jean claims she removed him from a hospital and drove him to another state without informing his three oldest children of her plans or their father’s whereabouts.
In 2007, Kasem was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. At that time, he signed a living will or health care directive that gave his three oldest children power of attorney to ensure his wishes with regard to end-of-life medical care were carried out. Recently, when it became obvious that Kasem's health was rapidly deteriorating, his 41-year-old daughter carried out her father's wishes and ordered doctors to cease providing her father nutritional supplementation.
In the wake of Kasem's death, both sides have momentarily set aside their differences to honor their loved one. It's extremely likely, however, that a new chapter in this epic estate dispute will soon begin as decisions related to Kasem's $80 million estate are decided.
Source: Daily Mail, "EXCLUSIVE: Casey Kasem's widow Jean 'cheated on radio legend with 40-something toyboy for years' as her 82-year-old husband's condition worsened, claims investigator hired by daughter," Ryan Parry and Neil Blincow, June 17, 2014