Sherman Hemsley will finally be laid to rest soon in a military burial three-and-a-half months after the actor passed away July 24. Sadly, Hemsley’s burial was delayed due to bickering over his $50,000 estate, and based on the ruling the judge laid down it was all for nothing. During a hearing, Sherman’s original wish for Flora Enchinton to be the beneficiary of his estate was upheld in court.
The cause of the delayed burial was Richard Thorton, a man who claimed to be Hemsley’s half-brother and who challenged the validity of the actor’s will, which was written six weeks before he died. According to Fox News:
At a deposition in September, Thornton was ordered by the judge to take a DNA test to prove his relationship to Hemsley. According to his attorney, the tests did prove their brotherhood – but at that point the judge refused to take the evidence into consideration as Thornton missed the deadline to submit the results to the court.
The proceedings were dragged out due to complications associated with gathering evidence, and then pushed back to the travel woes caused by Hurricane Sandy. However, court proceedings may not be completely over just yet.
“The judge admitted the will to probate and appointed Flora Enchinton Bernal as the independent executrix of the Estate. The Court also ruled that Ms. Enchinton Bernal was the person authorized to make the decisions as to Mr. Hemsley’s burial arrangements. At the conclusion of the trial, Mr. Thornton’s attorney indicated that he planned to appeal. To my knowledge, no appeal has yet been filed,” added Neill.
Regardless of the threat of appeal, Echinton’s lawyer told Fox that a military funeral is now being planned for Hemsley, who served for four years in the United States Air Force prior to launching his acting career.
“My client is planning on a military funeral for Mr. Hemsley at Fort Bliss National Cemetery here in El Paso. Mr. Hemsley previously served in the United States Air Force and thus is eligible for a military funeral,” said attorney Alexander Neill. “At the present we are waiting for all of the final orders to be entered by the Court so the funeral plans can proceed.”
Let’s hope they wrap this up by Christmas — literally.