The burial of actor Sherman Hemsley is being held up over a disagreement concerning his will.
Hemsley, best known as television’s George Jefferson, had signed a will just six weeks before his death leaving his entire estate to his “beloved partner” Flora Enchinton. Enchinton says she had known Hemsley for twenty years and lived with him for ten.
But then a man named Richard Thornton from Hemsley’s birth city of Philadelphia came forward to contest the will. Thornton claims to be Hemsley’s brother, but Enchinton says she has never even heard of anyone by that name. “This is not what Sherman would have wanted,” she is quoted as saying.
“Some people come out of the woodwork — they think Sherman, they think money,” Enchinton said, according to the New York Post. “But the fact it [sic] that I did not know Sherman when he was in the limelight. I met them when they (Hemsley and [his friend] Kenny Johnston) came running from Los Angeles with not one penny, when there was nothing but struggle.”
Also according to the Post, court documents show that the Hemsley estate is worth “more than $50,000.”
Hemsley passed away in July, but his embalmed body is being preserved in refrigeration in an El Paso, Texas funeral home until the burial can take place.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, as of August 31, no court date has been set to resolve this matter.
Once again we see how important it is to make your wishes known before death and to get documents in order to best avoid will contests. Hopefully the Hemsley dispute will be resolved quickly, and his body can be finally laid to rest.