A little while back we shared some probate news about the estate of the actor Sherman Hemsley. The star of the classic sitcom The Jeffersons actor died in July at the age of 74.
Hemsley left behind a will that made a woman named Flora Enchinton the sole heir to his estate. According to reports in his will she was referred to as his “beloved partner.”
Over the many years that Enchinton knew Hemsley she never heard him mention the existence of a brother in Philadelphia. However, now that Hemsley has passed away a fellow named Richard Thornton has come out of nowhere to challenge the Hemsley estate.
We are now hearing about a trial date having been set by the El Paso probate court. Hemsley was originally from Philadelphia but he had been living in El Paso for a number of years, and he passed away at his home there.
The court has ordered DNA testing for Thornton and the trial is set to commence on October 31.
This is understandably quite disturbing for Flora Enchinton, in large part because of the fact that Hemsley’s body has been sitting in an El Paso funeral home ever since he passed away in July.
We will pass along any news that emerges about the case as the trial unfolds.
Situations like this one underscore the value of advanced planning with the assistance of a highly experienced probate attorney. If Hemsley had any idea that this individual could possibly step forward he could potentially have taken steps to make this type of challenge all but impossible.