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Casey Kasem's case supports need for POA

Ontario law requires a power of attorney to facilitate relationships between the principal and other individuals, so this person cannot deny access to a loved one simply because the power of attorney does not like that person. Historic Los Angeles radio icon Casey Kasem did not have a power of attorney in place, and the current issue is whether a conservator should be appointed in the conflict between his wife and his children.

Three of Kasem's children filed a petition of conservatorship in order to acquire control of decisions related to their father's health. The children say that his wife, their stepmother, has kept Kasem isolated from them and other family and friends and not allowed visitation. Kasem is currently suffering from dementia, and she has had control of his medical care. The petition was denied, but one of Kasem's daughters was appointed temporary conservator in the middle of May after he went missing.

The power of attorney is legislated by the province in Canada. An individual may be designated as a power of attorney through a legal document or appointed by the court as a guardian once a person becomes incapacitated. A power of attorney may have the responsibility of maintaining a person's property or making decisions about healthcare needs. Financial and health care responsibilities may be designated to the same person or different individuals.

The individual who is appointed as a person's guardian by the court may present a plan to the judge. This individual may then determine what the issues are, determine the individual's capacity and revise the plan according to the individual's capacity. Individuals who want to a trusted individual as a power of attorney may decide to consult with an estate planning lawyer about the powers that this individual should have.

Source: CBC News, "Casey Kasem's case highlights need for power of attorney, lawyers say", Mark Gollom, May 16, 2014

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