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Where is Casey Kasem? They Found him but…

The ongoing battle over who will make healthcare decisions for Casey Kasem is getting more and more complicated. Last week the radio icon’s wife and attorneys were delivered a court order from California judge giving Casey Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem, expanded powers over his health care. The problem is that Kasem is currently living in Washington State, not in California.

The expanded powers provide that Kerri Kasem have temporary durable power of attorney over her father, and require Kasem’s wife, Jean, to surrender Kasem’s passport. Earlier in May, a California Judge named Kerri Kasem temporary conservator over her father, but since her father was removed by his wife to Washington State, Kerri Kasem was not able to act on the temporary conservatorship.

And a Washington state judge this past Friday granted Kerri Kasem regular visits after she raised concerns about his well-being.

There are many issues going on in the Kasem family with regard to Kasem’s well-being. This is a common issue in many families. Another common issue is the unauthorized removal of an incapacitated family member to another state. When this happens, any court guardianship or conservatorship orders that are entered into in one state may not be honored by another.

The unauthorized removal or retention of an elder person, commonly known as “Granny-snatching” has become a serious issue in recent years and has highlighted the need for all states to enact the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (“the Act”). The Act allows one state to recognize the conservatorship and/or guardianship orders of another state, which helps reduce confusion as to who is able to care and make decisions for an incapacitated person, and eliminate the need for expensive and time-consuming guardianship proceedings in multiple states.

Casey Kasem’s daughter, Kerri Kasem, previously requested that the court in California appoint her as temporary conservator for her father. In that case the judge denied the petition and said that Kasem was being well-cared for by his wife, Jean. At that point there was nothing Kerri could do to prevent her step-mother from removing Kasem from the nursing home where he resided.

Casey Kasem, now age 82, is suffering from Lewy body disease, which is a common cause of dementia. The family’s concern is that Kasem was taken out of the country or to an Indian Reservation outside California.

Since California has not enacted the Act, Kerri Kasem does not have any authority to help her father or bring him back to California from Washington, despite being named his conservator. This is because the conservatorship in California is not be recognized outside of that state. Now, instead of dealing with the courts in California, Casey Kasem, will be the subject of a multi-state legal battle.

Currently the Act has been adopted by 38 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. New York enacted the Act in October 2013, and it recently took effect on April 21, 2014. There are 12 states that have not adopted the

Act, and among those states are California, Texas, and Florida. If the Act is to be truly effective every state must adopt it.

By Eric J. Einhart – Guest Blogger

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