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Dad-Napping

Hi all,

Was just getting nostaligic about Casey Kasem…  I remember, as a kid, that distinct voice listing the top 10 songs of the week.

Now he is the subject of a court case between his kids and his wife. Casey is apparently suffering from dementia. His wife of 34 years moved him from his Los Angeles home without telling his kids. A case of “dad-napping” is not that unfamiliar a situation.

Conflicts between children and the “second spouse” over the care of their parent/spouse happen regularly. Decisions about nursing homes and end of life treatment are the most dramatic and difficult. Who should make those kinds of decisions? Who should be informed and consulted? Who knows best? These are all important questions that come up over and over again.

In most jurisdictions, people are allowed to designate substitute decision makers to make important health care decision for them if they can’t make them for themselves. But in most cases, those substitute decision makers have duties to consult with supportive family members and friends. Just who falls into the category of “supportive” family and friends is rarely defined and it is usually left to the substitute decision maker themselves to decide. That can leave caring family members out in the cold and make them resort to litigation to continue being involved in their loved one’s life…

Most estate matters are fights involving money. In a sense, those are the easy ones to solve. “Dad-napping” cases, involving an aging and incapable parent/spouse, rival child custody disputes in their emotional impact and are much more difficult to resolve.

Thanks for letting me blog,

Jordy