The Sherman Hemsley will dispute continued in court on Monday where a judge ruled that a man who claims to be the actor’s brother must undergo DNA testing in order to prove whether he really is related to Hemsley or not.
Hemsley passed away of lung cancer at his home in El Paso on July 24th, reports The New York Times. He was probably best known for playing George Jefferson on All in the Family along with its spinoff The Jeffersons.
The normal process after someone’s death is to bury them, but, because of the will dispute, Hemsley’s body has been in the refrigerator at a funeral home while his former manager, Flora Enchinton, and a man named Richard Thornton duke it out in court over the late actor’s will.
Sherman Hemsley’s will left his entire estate (worth about $50,000) to Enchinton, but Thornton claims that the will is fraudulent and that the actor may not have actually written it.
Judge Patricia B. Chew of El Paso County’s probate court ruled on Monday that Thornton must undergo a DNA test by October 15 to find out whether he is actually the former actor’s brother or not. She also set the trial date for the will dispute for October 31.
Las Cruces Sun-News notes that Thornton and his lawyer, Mark Davies, asked for the DNA test to prove his relationship with the deceased actor. Enchinton stated that she just wants to carry out Hemsley’s last wishes how they were listed in his will. The Jefferson’s actor’s former manager added:
“I just want what Sherman would want. He would have been screaming right now and putting people in their place.”
Sherman Hemsley grew up in Philadelphia but had lived in El Paso for the past 20 years.