We all know that executing a Last Will and Testament is the very least we should do before we die, but what happens when a Will is contested? For beloved actor and comedian Sherman Hemsley, it means that he remains on ice while his Will is contested.
Best known for his role as George Jefferson, the “movin’ on up” actor apparently cannot move on up until a court decides whether the Will presented to the court was really signed by him. Hemsley died on July 24th and a Will was presented to the appropriate court shortly after his death by longtime companion Flora Enchinton. Under the terms of that Will, Hemsley’s estate, valued at about $50,000, was left to her. The Will was purportedly signed six weeks prior to his death. Shortly thereafter, a man from Philadelphia appeared and claimed to be Hemsley’s brother., although no one seems to know who he is. The man also claims that the Will filed with the court was not made by Hemsley.
Unfortunately, this means that Hemsley’s body remains on ice at the funeral home in El Paso,Texas while the court decides whether or not the Will filed by Enchinton is, in fact, Hemsley’s. While even the most well planned estate plan cannot prevent all claims against the estate, a well planned and executed estate plan can certainly make it much easier for a court to make a decision when a challenge is filed. Talk to your estate planning attorney today about your estate plan and how you can guard against frivolous claims.
The Law Offices of Barton P. Levine is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.