Learn from Casey Kasem's troubles to help avoid probate

By now, most people have probably heard about all the recent happenings involving Casey Kasem. The former radio personality, who was known primarily as being the voice of the American Top 40 Countdown, is suffering from a form of dementia. His wife has allegedly been keeping him away from his children. Recently, Kasem and his wife went missing. They have since been found, but his story highlights the need for having proper estate planning documents in place.

The children in Kasem's case aren't his wife's children. This is likely part of the issue when it comes to his estate. His wife wants to avoid the children, but they want to be a part of their father's life. The problems they are all facing now in regards to Kasem's care might have been avoided if he had a proper estate plan.

Children from a previous marriage must be considered when making plans for an estate. Factors like who is going to be your medical power of attorney and who will be the estate administrator are best made by you while you are of sound mind and body. Putting this information into your estate plan, along with instructions about end of life care and funeral arrangements, can help your loved ones to avoid having to go through the costly and time-consuming probate process.

Anyone who is going through the process of completing or updating an estate plan should be familiar with Oklahoma laws governing estates, so they can ensure that they have everything in order for when the plan needs to be enacted. Keeping things in order can simplify things for your family and help to avoid problems like what is happening in Kasem's family.

Source: CNBC, "What we can learn from Casey Kasem's disappearance" Jerry Lynch, May. 19, 2014

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