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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Estate Dispute Over Actor’s Remains Leaves Body in Limbo

POSTED ON: September 26, 2012

The remains of actor Sherman Hemsley, famous for his role as George Jefferson in “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” have languished in a funeral home refrigerator more than two months after his death while a court decides who controls his estate.

Hemsley, who died of lung cancer July 24th, signed a will one month before his death naming his longtime partner, Flora Enchinton, as executor and leaving his entire estate to her.

However, Richard Thornton, a Philadelphia man claiming to be the “Jeffersons” actor’s brother, is challenging the will. Enchinton, who claims to have known Hemsley for over 20 years, says she has never heard of any brother and has requested a DNA test to settle the dispute.

Adding more drama to the situation, now a cousin on Hemsley’s mother’s side said he will try to intervene legally, claiming that Enchinton was not close to Hemsley and that Thornton is not related to the actor.

All the while, Hemsley’s last wishes remain unfulfilled due to a simple failure to plan effectively ahead of time. An estate plan is not something that should be thrown together at the last minute or during an emergency, if it can be avoided. Planning ahead is always the best option, allowing you to plan for unforeseen circumstances and to make sure all you bases are covered.

Procrastination on this important issue often leads to expense and frustration at best, tragedy at worst. Call the Heritage Law Center today for a free consultation on how you can ensure your legacy and protect those you care most about.