COURTS & LAWSUITS
Etta James’ Family In Court Battle for Her Care
Etta James’ Family went to court. They're fighting over money for her health care. The family of R&B singing legend Etta James, who has been diagnosed with dementia and is also fighting leukemia, is now waging an expensive and extended court battle over assets to be used for her care, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
A Riverside, California court recently released $60,000 to James’ husband, Artis Mills, from the singer’s financial accounts to cover her immediate health care expenses. Artis wants all her financial accounts (worth about $1 million) to be declared community property so he can have legal access to them for her care.
Donto James, James’ son by a prior relationship, was granted power of attorney by the singer in 2008. He wants the court to appoint an independent administrator to oversee her health care. However, Mills is arguing that James was “not of sound mind and judgment” when she granted Donto James power of attorney three years ago.
This case is a primary example of the importance of drafting an advanced health care directive, which provides you with the opportunity to name a trusted person to make health care decisions for you in case you can’t and also allows you to spell out what kind of medical treatments you do or do not want to receive under certain circumstances.