Another Contested Celebrity Will - Lesson for Idahoans

Will contests can yield somestrange stories. Take for example the case of the late Sherman Hemsley and thethree and a half months his remains rested on ice before he was finally put torest. A recap of that story can be found at Forbesin, “Court Ruling Finally Allows Body of LateJefferson Star To ‘Move On Up’.”

Hemsley’s story is a troublingone, perhaps even more so because his estate was valued at only around $50,000.Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson on the hit TV comedy “TheJeffersons,” didn’t have any real family, but he did have a close friend andbusiness manager in Flora Enchiton whom he named in the will he drafted a meresix weeks before his passing. When a long-lost half-brother showed up todispute the validity of Hemsley’s will and claim his right to direct theburial, the ensuing fight became both ugly and very public. In the end,Hemsley’s will prevailed, but not without a long fight.  

Teaching points:

  1. Even estates of relatively small value can bring outthe worst in your relatives.
  2. Proper estate planning can help ensure your wishes arecarried out after your passing, even if some would choose to violate them.
  3. Don’t procrastinate. The fact that Hemsley’s will waswritten a mere six weeks before his death did complicate matters. Had the willbeen signed long ago, before Hemsley was sick, it’s unlikely that the casewould have taken so long to resolve.

At Idaho Estate Planning we are theexperts you need to know and trust. Work with us and we'll put together a planthat works for you and your loved ones. Remember, good planning is no accident.


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