We would like to follow through and pass along an update about the challenge to the estate of the deceased actor Sherman Hemsley.
Hemsley passed away back in July and his body has not yet been put to rest. It still sits in a funeral home in El Paso, Texas, which is where he lived with his partner Flora Enchinton.
Sherman Hemsley did in fact have the foresight to execute a last will when he found out that his time was probably short. In this document he made Enchinton the sole heir to the estate.
Enchinton is quoted in reports as saying that she knew Hemsley for some 20 years and he never said anything to her about having a brother. However, Richard Thornton of Philadelphia has challenged the estate. He claims to be the late actor’s brother.
The probate court in El Paso is going to hear the case. October 31st is the scheduled date for the estate trial, and DNA testing was ordered by the court to determine if it is true that Thornton is Hemsley’s brother.
It is possible to arrange for asset transfers to your loved ones outside of the probate process. This case shows how probate opens the door for those who may want to challenge your wishes even if you have clearly stated them in writing.
The best way to proceed is to be completely forthcoming with your lawyer about everything that could be relevant. If it is possible that someone from your past could emerge to challenge your estate this is information that you should certainly share with your attorney.