Conservatorship Feed

Casey Kasem Fortune Fight: Is A Family Member Responsible For The Radio Icon's Death?

Why are Casey Kasem’s wife and daughter accusing each other of killing the iconic American Top 40 Countdown host?  Could either of them really have been responsible for his death?

And what did Casey Kasem’s doctors have to say about the controversy? Casey_Kasem

This is the second installment in our Fortune Fights series, based on the celebrity documentary television show, Fortune Fights, for which we serve as hosts, legal commentators and executive producers.  New episodes air on the REELZ network Thursday nights at 9 pm et/pt.  The second episode, Casey Kasem” Fortune Fight, airs February 7th.

Casey Kasem passed away in 2014 at age 82, with a host of medical problems including advanced Lewy Body dementia.  His death came amidst a tragic story of a family feud that grew worse as Casey Kasem aged and now continues years after he died.

Continue reading "Casey Kasem Fortune Fight: Is A Family Member Responsible For The Radio Icon's Death?" »


Stan Lee Needs Savings, Not By A Superhero, But By A Conservator

The iconic figure whose name is almost synonymous with Marvel Entertainment — perhaps the biggest name today in cinema — needs help. Stan Lee is the subject of three separate lawsuits that allege he is the victim of fraud and elder abuse. And these court filings may simply be the beginning of a much larger battle over his estate and the right to profit from Stan Lee’s name, image, likeness and more. Stan_Lee_by_Gage_Skidmore_3

Throughout the lawsuits and surrounding controversy, there is one point that is certain. Stan Lee, now age 95, is susceptible to undue influence. His memory is poor – so bad that a detective’s report noted how he would often forget the name of his closest adviser.  He has macular degeneration, leaving him with vision so faulty that he cannot read or drive. On top of that, Lee’s vision is impaired.  Clearly, he cannot manage his affairs without help from others. In fact, he recently used social media to ask for help because his Facebook and Instagram accounts had been hacked.

Reality presents a much different image of Stan Lee than the comedic appearances he continues to make in Marvel blockbusters, including Infinity War, Black Panther and the latest movie, Ant Man & The Wasp.

Continue reading "Stan Lee Needs Savings, Not By A Superhero, But By A Conservator" »


Hawaiian Princess Kawananakoa In Court Battle Over $200 Million Trust Fund

Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, known to her friends as Kekau, is true Hawaiian royalty. Now, a bitter court battle rages over the questions of whether she is mentally capable of managing her vast fortune and whether she is the victim of physical abuse and financial exploitation.   Kawananakoa

Princess Kawananakoa, age 92, is a direct descendant to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  When the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898, it ended the reign of Queen Lili’uokalani, Kawananakoa's great-grand aunt. As the closest living relative, Kawananakoa is considered to be the heir apparent who would have assumed the throne if the monarchy had been restored.

Kawananakoa was also the beneficiary of a large fortune, thanks to her great-grandfather, James Campbell. Campbell, a 19th-century sugar cane industrialist who made his fortune in Hawaii, died in 1900 with an estate worth $3 million at the time. The Campbell Estate has grown since then, topping out over $2 billion in 2007 when the Estate was converted into corporate holdings. Kawananakoa inherited $250 million, mostly in the form of stock in the James Campbell Corporation. Today, her trust is estimated to be worth $200 million.

This trust fund is at the heart of the dispute, which pits her once-trusted attorney against her long-time domestic partner.  The attorney, James Wright, petitioned the probate court to remove Kawananakoa from controlling her trust. His petition was initially granted by the probate court judge, but now is challenged in court. Wright alleged that Kawananakoa suffered an acute stroke leaving her unable to manage her health, self-care, or financial matters. Wright based his filing on the determination of two physicians.

Continue reading "Hawaiian Princess Kawananakoa In Court Battle Over $200 Million Trust Fund" »


Answering Questions About Whitney Houston's Millions And Bobbi Kristina's Death

After a six-month coma, the life of Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, has tragically ended.  Just how tragic her short life really was may not be known for some time.  But the details that have emerged are nothing short of heart-wrenching, if the allegations of a recently-filed lawsuit filed on behalf of Bobbi Kristina prove to be true.  Bobbi Kristina

According to that lawsuit, Whitney Houston's millions were at the heart of this tragedy.  But what role did they really play in Bobbi Kristina's death?

It was on January 31, 2015 that Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive, unconscious, and face down in a bath tub.  That was nearly three years from the day her mother famously drowned, also in a bathtub.  Bobbi Kristina was placed into a medically-induced coma and reportedly suffered severe brain damage.

Continue reading "Answering Questions About Whitney Houston's Millions And Bobbi Kristina's Death" »


Casey Kasem's Daughter Fights For New Guardianship Visitation Laws

Kerri Kasem, the daughter of the late American Top 40 DJ, Casey Kasem, has been on a mission to make sure what happened to her and her siblings does not happen to others. When her father’s health deteri  orated from Parkinson’s disease, it sparked an ugly court battle between his children and his wife, Jean Kasem, which did not end until he died.  By then, Casey Kasem was suffering from serious bed sores, a urinary tract infection, and sepsis.   Casey-and-Kerri-Kasem-300x277

Kerri Kasem feels that her father’s death could have been prevented if she and her siblings had been able to see him and monitor his care better, but there were not sufficient protections in the law to help.

Until recently, not a single state in the United States offered specific protection to relatives of loved ones who were under court-ordered guardianship or conservatorship to make sure they could remain in contact with their incompetent loved one.  Rather, the person named as guardian or conservator typically controlled visitation and contact, which could include denying contact altogether.  That’s still the case in 48 states.

Continue reading "Casey Kasem's Daughter Fights For New Guardianship Visitation Laws" »


Family Members of B.B. King Are Singing The Blues

Blues great B.B. King passed away at age 89 years old Thursday, after suffering from diabetes and other health problems.  He leaves behind an unmatched musical legacy in the Blues genre, along with 11 surviving children and reportedly more than 50 grandchildren.B.B. King

Sadly, a dark cloud hung over the King family throughout his final days, due to a bitter dispute over the management of his care and money, involving what some claimed to be elder abuse.  The battle pitted his longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, against a handful of his children.

King fathered and adopted a total of 15 children, from several different marriages, but four had previously died.  Three filed a court action in Las Vegas alleging that their famous father was a victim of elder abuse at the hands of Toney. 

Karen Williams, Rita Washington, and Patty King said that Toney was not providing proper medical care to their father, restricted his children and friends from visiting, and that there were large amounts of money missing from King’s bank account.  In fact, the family said it could not account for more than one million dollars.  The three children asked the court to appoint an independent guardian for their father to protect him and his assets.

Continue reading "Family Members of B.B. King Are Singing The Blues" »


Could Feud Over Saints Owner Tom Benson Happen In Your Family?

Yes, Tom Benson has a great deal more money and power than most of us.  How much?  Try $1.9 billion, according to the annual Forbes rankings.  Indeed, there are only 350 richer people in the whole country.  The successful owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, Benson built a wide-ranging empire of car dealerships, banks, various real estate holdings, and a television station.  He still actively participates in running his businesses — most of all his beloved Saints.  Tom-Benson-Saints-300x203

But for all of his wealth, prestige, and status, Tom Benson is in the midst of the same type of probate-related court battle that entangles many elderly individuals in our country.  Some of Benson’s heirs do not believe the 87-year-old is mentally competent to make his own decisions any more.  They are seeking to have him declared legally incompetent and protect him from what they claim is undue influence.

Continue reading "Could Feud Over Saints Owner Tom Benson Happen In Your Family?" »