Ever since he came to stardom as a child actor in the television show “Diff’rent Strokes,” Gary Coleman’s life had not been without difficulties. Now, after his death in 2010, his estate is finally concluding its own legal battle.
After suing his parents in 1989 for apparently mishandling his finances, and running for the governor of California in 2003, Gary Coleman died at the age of 42 in 2010 after suffering injuries from a fall he had in his Utah home. The injuries led to a coma, and doctors were faced with determining whether to keep him under life-support or not. The decision was eventually made by Shannon Price, Mr. Coleman’s former wife, who decided to take him off of life support.
Now, Ms. Price and Ms. Anna Gray, Mr. Coleman’s ex-girlfriend and personal assistant, are battling over who inherits his estate. Mr. Coleman and Ms. Price had divorced in 2008, though his will of 2007 leaves all of his assets to Ms. Gray. However, Ms. Price is contending that she and Mr. Coleman maintained a relationship after their divorce and were in fact a common law married couple. If the court agrees with her claim, Ms. Price would likely inherit the entire estate.
However, Ms. Gray contends that Ms. Price’s claims are false and that the entire estate should pass to Ms. Gray. Testimony in the Utah probate court where the trial was held has recently concluded, and the parties are waiting to hear what decision the probate court judge will make.
Is your estate plan up-to-date to ensure your wishes are clear should anything happen to you unexpectedly?