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Sumner Redstone's medical care under attack

Many Kent area residents don't think about who will take care of them when they are no longer able to take care of themselves. It can be hard to picture a time when one cannot make decisions about their health care or communicate their wishes. But most of us will one day face that reality, and it is important to have health care directives in place.

Sumner Redstone's family is currently in a legal battle over his medical care. The 92-year-old media mogul who owns CBS and Viacom is currently embattled in a fight with a former girlfriend, who he dated Mr. Redstone from 1999 to 2001 and has maintained a friendship since then. Up until recently she was designated as who Mr. Redstone wanted making medical decisions for him. She is now claiming that Mr. Redstone can no longer make decisions and requires around-the-clock care. Mr. Redstone's attorneys say that he has been evaluated by a doctor and is in good spirits and able to make decisions. Mr. Redstone's former girlfriend is arguing that Mr. Redstone does not have adequate mental capacity to remove her from the estate planning documents, and she is demanding that she be placed back on as the person making his medical decisions. She was replaced by Viacom chief executive officer Phillippe Dauman.

Having a thorough estate plan that includes health care directives regarding medical care is important. Family members often spar over how a person should be taken care of. There can be many different opinions and many hurt feelings. A living will and can help a family know what their loved one would want and who should be communicating these wishes with doctors. An attorney skilled in estate planning can help a family draft important health care directives and help a family feel more at ease.

The recent court battle regarding the care of Sumner Redstone brings to light the importance of estate planning documents. Families can feel much more secure if these documents are in place.

Source: ABC News, "Court fight erupts over care of media mogul Sumner Redstone", Anthony McCartney, Nov. 25, 2015

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