The Kasem’s family almost year-long public dispute over the care and visitation of the 82-year-old patriarch Casey Kasem, the famed radio DJ who has been suffering from Lewy body dementia, is unfortunate and could have been avoided. Before Kasem’s health was in drastic decline, the family could have met with mediators or collaborative practitioners to resolve the anticipated conflicts. Additionally, a qualified care manager should have been involved to oversee Kasem’s care and be a neutral professional to provide information to family members.
Proactive Family Conflict Resolution
The relationship between Kasem’s second wife of more than 30 years, Jean Kasem, and the children from the prior marriage has been rocky for at least seven years. Last year Julie Kasem, one of Kasem’s children, alleged that Jean isolated Kasem from his children and other family members and Kasem was not well cared by Jean. Julie then filed court documents asking to be appointed as Kasem’s temporary conservator. In ruling against Julie, the judge gave insight into the family’s dynamics; the judge mentioned there is bad blood in the family. After the court’s decision, the family reached a settlement. The settlement, however, fell apart and the family is back in court. This round, the court appointed Kerri Kasem, one of the daughters, as temporary conservator. Similar to the family of legendary movie star Mickey Rooney, the Kasem’s family fight will continue to rage on even after Kasem dies unless the family seeks professional assistance to resolve their family conflicts.
Kasem has the most influence over the resolution of his family conflict involving this care and wealth of approximately $80 million. As soon as the family conflict sprouted at least seven years ago, Kasem and the family should have sought professional assistance such as mediators or collaborative practitioners to resolve the conflict outside of court. With a private dispute resolution process in place, the family can return to the private process instead of court when conflict arises. These two blog articles illustrate different processes for resolving family conflicts and their effects on the family: Making WAR or PEACE When Resolving Family Conflicts and Family Disputes Become Public Gossips.
Using Services Of Professionals To Minimize Family Disputes
When family members do not trust each other, whether over care or finance, services of independent professionals are invaluable to provide transparency, which minimizes distrust and conflicts as the suggestions of professionals are unbiased and based on professional expertise. In Kasem’s situation, the settlement reached in 2013 should have included a care manager to supervise the care of Kasem. A care manager is also a neutral professional whom family members can contact to inquire about Kasem’s care. Had Kasem’s children been assured by the care manager that Casey received proper care, they may not have rushed to court for a conservatorship. Professional fees to help the family resolve the current and prevent future conflicts are a bargain as compared to litigation fees, which can climb to millions of dollars as described in blog article Fights With Trustees Already Cost Beneficiary Million$$$ In Attorney Fees.
Family Conflict Resolution Strategy
Family conflicts over care and inheritance are inevitable in certain family dynamics. Having a plan to resolve conflicts is as, if not more, important than having an estate plan, which can be destroyed through family infighting.
Protect yourself and your family by having a strategy to douse the rage of family conflicts.