A man who at one point helped lead Warner Brothers was recently at the center of a legal battle over his medical care. Despite being wealthy enough to afford in-home care, the current wife of this man has for the past couple of years arranged for him to stay in a nursing home.
The man suffers from Alzheimer's disease. While once a bright star in the entertainment business, he has for some time been unable to handle his own affairs due to mental incapacity. He has been married to his current wife for over 40 years. However, the man's oldest child and only son, from a prior relationship, filed legal paperwork asking that a California court appoint someone else temporarily as his father's legal conservator. In his paperwork, he accused his stepmother of breaching her fiduciary duty and also of possibly engaging in elder abuse. His stepmother appears to have been duly appointed as the executive's attorney-in-fact and healthcare agent.
Still, the man's son alleges his stepmother has not been minding the man's medical condition and should have respected his wishes to let him live out his final days at home. The woman, for her part, denies the allegations, saying that her husband is getting appropriate care based on the advice of physicians. At least according to the woman's attorney, the matter has been settled.
The fact that this executive had the foresight to designate his wife as his healthcare agent and attorney-in-fact may have helped mitigate the fallout from the son's discontent with his father's care. However, this case also shows that even with appropriate estate planning, probate battles are still possible. Often, those who live in and around Redding and find themselves involved in litigation over an estate or related matter benefit from the help of an experienced California probate attorney.