The body of the actor Sherman Hemsley has finally been put to rest after the probate court in El Paso, Texas found that the last will that he executed before passing away is indeed valid.
You may recall some of the earlier reporting that we have done on the story. Hemsley died of lung cancer back on July 24. He had a longtime dear friend that he lived with named Flora Enchinton. Helmsley reportedly never married and he didn’t have any children so he named Enchinton as the sole heir to his estate. He also made her the executor.
When someone without close family executes a last will clearly stating his or her wishes it would be logical to think that there would be no snags during the probate process. In fact, this case was made extremely difficult by a fellow named Richard Thornton.
Thornton came forward claiming to be the rightful heir to the estate because of his contention that he was the actor’s brother.
This in and itself would not seem like anything that would make a legally binding will invalid. And, ultimately the probate court judge did indeed find that that Enchinton was the heir and that the will was valid.
Enchinton expressed dismay at the indignity of her beloved friend’s body being held in a funeral home in El Paso for months while this matter played itself out. However, on the day before Thanksgiving the body of Sherman Hemsley was finally put to rest and this disturbing situation has finally been resolved.
The Augulis Law Firm is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.