Sherman Hemsley, the actor famed for playing George Jefferson on "All in the Family" and the spinoff "The Jeffersons," recently passed away from his battle with lung cancer. As of last week, the actor still had not been laid to rest until a court could determine the validity of his will.
Wills and estate planning should not be thought of as a necessity only for the rich in Los Angeles. This actor's estate is roughly worth $50,000, based on a court's estimate. When there are fewer assets involved, the estate planning process can avoid substantial tax planning and the like, but it is still important for an individual drafting a will to accurately and clearly lay out their last wishes.
Reportedly, the actor named a specific "beloved partner" as the sole beneficiary of his estate, but a man from Philadelphia alleging to be the actor's brother has emerged saying the will may not have been drafted by the actor. The woman that was named as the sole beneficiary claims the actor never spoke of having a brother. Further, she says that she never knew the actor when he was a big name, but rather stuck by his side when he "came running from Los Angeles with not one penny, when there was nothing but struggle."
Now it will be up to a probate court to determine the validity of the will so that the actor can finally be laid to rest. It is important that wills are properly drafted to ensure the distribution of assets according to the wishes of the recently passed individual. It may behoove residents of Los Angeles to seek experienced legal counsel in matters of estate planning to ensure their wishes are adhered to when they pass.
Source: Yahoo! News, "Will dispute prevents burial of Sherman Hemsley," Juan Carlos Llorca, Aug. 30, 2012