Gary Coleman, the child actor who starred in the television show “Diff’rent Strokes,” died two years ago, though he left behind an estate that is still being fought over in a Utah probate court. At issue is whether his ex-wife, Shannon Price, is entitled to receive any of his estate even though the couple divorced in 2008.
Mr. Coleman died in 2010, at the age of 42, after suffering injuries he sustained in an accidental fall in his Utah home. The brain hemorrhage and subsequent coma he suffered led to his death after being taken off life support, a decision Ms. Price made.
Mr. Coleman had created two Wills, one in 1999 and the other in 2005. The 2005 will states that Anna Gray, Mr. Coleman’s personal assistant and former girlfriend, is entitled to receive all of his estate property. However, Ms. Price claims that Mr. Coleman had created a codicil in 2007 that gave all of the assets to her. Complicating the case is the the fact that Mr. Coleman and Ms. Price maintained a relationship after their divorce. Ms. Price is claiming that they entered into a common-law marriage after the divorce, which would make her entitled to receive the entire Coleman estate. Ms. Gray argues that she is entitled to the entire estate as Mr. Coleman’s will dictates.
The probate judge presiding over the case heard testimony over several days and is expected to issue a ruling soon. The property over which the two parties are fighting include intellectual property rights, a pension, Mr. Coleman’s ashes, and a home valued at $324,000.