Back in July the actor Sherman Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas at the age of 74. We reported on this a while back and there is now some updated news to share.
A court date wasset for Halloween day in El Paso. The probate court judge has required the individual challenging the estate, Richard Thornton of Philadelphia, to provide the results of a DNA test.
Thorton says that he is Sherman Hemsley's brother by blood. Hemsley left behind a last will leaving everything to Florida Enchinton, who was referred to as his "beloved partner" in the will. Reports indicate that she was also his manager.
Hemsley's body is still being held in an El Paso funeral home and no services can be held until the matter has been resolved by the court. These facts seems to disturb Enchinton more than anything. It should be noted that observers suggest that the value of Hemsley's estate is quite modest.
The probate process does indeed open the door for those who want to challenge the stated wishes of a deceased individual, and as you can see from this case it can be quite time-consuming.
There are however things that can be done to avoid probate and arrange for future asset transfers in a private, confidential, and direct manner.
If you would like to gain an understanding of probate avoidance strategies as you plan your own estate, don't hesitate to pick up the phone to set up an appointment to speak with a qualified Reno NV estate planning lawyer.