Sherman Hemsley’s family dispute over his estate has prevented a proper burial since he died on July 14th in El Paso, Texas. Hemsley, who starred in the popular sitcom “The Jeffersons” has people from his then live-in partner to a rumored brother and cousin staking a claim to his estate.
The dispute began over a will Hemsley signed a month before his death. In the new will, Hemsley’s estimated $50,000 estate was left to his former manager and live-in partner/best friend Flora Enchinton. It didn’t take long before others surfaced to dispute the claim.
First up, Richard Thornton who claims to be Hemsley’s brother believed the will was forged. He filed a lawsuit questioning the authenticity of the will. In response to the suit Probate Court Judge Patricia Chew delayed the trial until Thornton completes a DNA test. Second came a Reverend at Arch Street Methodist Church in El Paso named Rev. Michael George Wells who claims to be the late actor’s cousin. He claims his mother was the closest thing to a sister that Hemsley had.
“There is only one person in the world who I believe Sherman would call a sister, and that is my mother.” With that said Rev. Wells isn’t looking to inherit the entire estate but believes his family is entitled to something.
“We are family, and we are not looking for money. But if we are entitled to something, we don’t want anyone else to have it,”
He continued, “His will and the probate were found seven days after he died. No one reached out to me, my mother, my family or any [person with a] relationship to Sherman. In the beginning they said he died of natural causes. Then it came out he had cancer. There needs to be an investigation. We have no knowledge of the doctors, hospitals, no one talked to us about his cancer. Everything we found out was from the news… Flora knows my family, this is what perplexes me. I called there on June 1, and why did she not tell me Sherman was dying of cancer?”
As the dispute continues, Sherman Hemsley remains refrigerated at the San Jose Funeral Home.