In the seemingly neverending shifting strangeness that is Gary Coleman’s postmortem story, battle lines are being drawn around two wills (not three or four… yet). There is the 1999 will that Gary Coleman drew up with Dion Mial as the executor. And then there is the 2007 will, which is reportedly handwritten. Radar Online was quick to report Monday that another will has surfaced, but it is unknown if it is the same as the 2007 will that Shannon Price and agent Shielia Erickson have mentioned, which supposedly supersedes the 1999 will that will be filed this week in Salt Lake City.
The second will to be filed leaves everything to ex-wife Shannon Price. It is described as a handwritten codicil to the original. And since it was written after the 1999 will, it would normally take precedent over what is believed to be Gary Coleman’s original last will and testament.
However… and not so fast…
According to Kent Alderman, Dion Mial’s lawyer, the 1999 is the last will and testament that is valid. It appears that simply having a will does Shannon Price little good if it wasn’t duly notarized or filed, especially considering the fact that Gary Coleman and Shannon Price were divorced after the codicil was written. In other words, says Alderman, the will Shannon Price has brought forward is legally invalid.
Utah attorney Stephen J. Buhler agreed with Alderman. He told Radar Online, “The act of getting divorced would revoke that will. Unless she [Shannon] could show something that stated he [Gary] intended to leave everything to her even after the divorce, the will is null and void.”
Still, according to Utah law, a will can be filed up to three years after the death of the decedent and be considered valid.
Dion Mial stands to benefit financially from Gary Coleman’s estate due to a trust provision should the 1999 will stand.
Shannon Price told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she and Gary Coleman had intended to remarry but never did. There were reports that Coleman and Price had reconciled their volatile marriage and had been living together for some time before the actor’s untimely death.
Gary Coleman died on May 28 after being taken off of life support. He had fallen into a coma after suffering a brain hemorrhage that resulted from a fall at his Utah home. It is unclear how Coleman’s accident occurred. A cause of death investigation has been ordered and Coleman’s body was delivered to the state of Utah’s medical examiner’s office.