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Guardianship at core of family dispute re well-known entertainer

We have stated many times in our estate planning blog at the Alameda County Law Offices of Connie YI that effective estate administration entails more than the mere protection of family property.

That is certainly a key and fundamental planning focus, true enough. It must often be coupled with close attention to other matters as well, though. We stress on our website that, “Protecting your financial and health-care related interests is just as important as protecting your property.”

Consider the health care element for a moment in the manner that seasoned estate planning attorneys do. They know from long experience that a family can confront great challenges following discovery that little or nothing is known about a loved one’s desires concerning end-of-life care.

What should be done when views differ on medical treatment and related matters? What if a cherished family member no longer able to make decisions never discussed such things at all and left no written directives concerning them?

In worst-case scenarios, legal acrimony can result. That is noted in one recent media spotlighting of a high-profile case concerning one well-known celebrity.

That individual is award-winning 84-year-old comedian Tim Conway, who is now reportedly in the latter stages of dementia and “almost entirely unresponsive.” According to documents filed in a California court last week, Conway’s second wife and a daughter from his first marriage are legally battling over the care he is receiving. Among other things, the daughter wants to be named as her father’s guardian.

The court will now have to step in and carefully consider the matter. It will likely be comparatively hampered in doing so by the apparent lack of an advance health care directive. We reference that document on our website, noting its utility for promoting clarity in end-of-life matters.

Questions or concerns about medical care in times of illness and/or incapacity can be addressed to a knowledgeable and empathetic estate administration attorney.

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