Gary Coleman Estate: Plagued By Preventable Problems
Gary Coleman, famed for his role as Arnold Jackson in “Diff’rent Strokes” and his child-like appearance, died in 2010 from a brain hemorrhage. Two years later, the battle over his estate still continues. Coleman’s estate is not a large one, it consists of a house worth over $300,000, intellectual rights to some of his works, and his ashes.
Gary Coleman’s Legacy: Arnold Jackson and His Character’s Impact
Gary Coleman left a lasting legacy through his portrayal of Arnold Jackson in the hit show. “Diff’rent Strokes” became a cultural phenomenon and that continues to resonate with audiences. His character brought issues of race, identity, and social dynamics to the forefront of popular culture. Arnold had an endearing personality that was brought to life by Coleman’s great comedic timing. This quality made Gary Coleman a beloved character for the millions watching him on the small screen.
Arnold Jackson’s famous catchphrase, “What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis” has been uttered by many who have tried to imitate the actor. The rallying cry symbolized the wit, innocence, and charm that Coleman brought to the role. This charm has led to Coleman becoming a household name.
Estate Troubles For Gary Coleman Following His Death
Coleman’s life wasn’t always the source of fun and laughter, especially in his personal life. After his untimely passing, both his ex-wife Shannon Price and his ex-girlfriend Anna Gray have placed claims on his estate. Coleman and Price had gone through a divorce in secret in 2008, but their relationship remained hot and cold, leading to Price living in Coleman’s home regularly.
Price was attempting to claim common law marriage because of their continued co-habilitation. For common law marriage to apply, they would have had to live together for a certain period of time (this varies by state), but they must behave and present themselves as a married couple. Unfortunately, because Price moved in and out of Coleman’s home on multiple occasions and because they did not give a public impression of marriage, the judge ruled that no common law marriage applied in this case.
Gray declared that she was also entitled to the late actor’s estate. She claimed that she managed his affairs for years and that he named her as the executor and beneficiary of his estate over 7 years ago, in 2005.
How Did Gary Coleman Die?
Gary Coleman passed away on May 28, 2010 at the age of 42. Two days prior to his passing, he was admitted into Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Utah after he fell down the stairs and hit his head. This caused him to suffer from an epidural hematoma, which claimed his life.
Planning Prevents Problems
It is tragic to realize that after the costs of probate fees and attorney fees, there may be very little left of the estate these women are fighting for. Also, without a set estate plan, Coleman also made it possible for his estranged parents to attain his estate. Coleman and his parents were not on good terms, in fact he sued them for mismanagement and theft of his funds from his time as a child actor – causing him to later have to file bankruptcy.
An estate plan would have made all the difference in the sad situation involving the Gary Coleman estate. Coleman could have dictated his exact wishes, avoiding a very lengthy probate and ensuring his estate was transferred smoothly and without so much public attention.
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