Many Ohioans likely grew up listening to the Weekly Top 40 weekend radio show that was hosted by Casey Kasem. For years Kasem was a recognizable voice and talent in Hollywood. Sadly, when the famed DJ passed away last summer, his death and memory were largely overshadowed by a bitter family dispute between his second wife Jean and his grown children from his first marriage.
In the later years of his life, Kasem suffered from a rare form of degenerative dementia and required round-the-clock medical care. Last spring, in the middle of the night and against doctor's orders, his second wife Jean removed him from a nursing home and secretly transported Kasem to Washington state.
As Kasem's children from his first marriage fought to gain access to and control over managing their father's health care decisions, his condition deteriorated. A court order was eventually issued to allow Kasem's removal from life support, he died on June 15, 2014.
Unfortunately, even with Kasem's passing the feud between Jean Kasem and his children from his first marriage continues to be waged. While it's been more than four months since his death, Kasem's body remains in a Norwegian hospital while his second wife and children continue to battle over where his body should be buried.
The story of Casey Kasem's final weeks and death is tragic in every sense. His deteriorated mental and physical state made it difficult to impossible for the late DJ to make his wishes known and while his daughter Kerri contends her father verbally expressed his wishes to be buried in a California cemetery, there is no written record to validate this assertion.
The legal battle between Jean Kasem and Kasem's grown children also appears to be far from over as changes to his will are suspected to have been made while he was mentally incompetent. Additionally, Jean Kasem has expressed her plans to go "after the trust that Casey had set up for his children."
Disagreements and rifts between family members are fairly common and, when a death in the family occurs, can result in accusations of ill-intent and wrongdoing. Individuals who believe a loved one was taken advantage of when he or she lacked physical or mental capacity are advised to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who handles will and trust contests and inheritance disputes.
Source: Forbes, "Why Is Casey Kasem Still Not Buried? Conflict Shows Importance Of Preplanning," Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Oct. 6, 2014