A funeral for former child actor Gary Coleman, whose body was cremated June 18, won’t take place for months, if one will be held at all, a Utah judge has ruled.
His ashes will be safeguarded until a probate dispute between his ex-wife and a former business associate is resolved, the judge said.
According to CNN, Coleman, 42, had been divorced from the 24-year-old Shannon Price since 2008, although the couple was living together at the time of his death. Coleman died May 28 when he was removed from life support following a fall at his home in Santaquin, Utah.
But Price claimed in a petition that, despite the divorce, she was still Coleman’s common law wife.
She had also filed a handwritten document from 2007 which, if validated by the court, would give her Coleman’s estate, CNN reported. But Coleman signed a will in 2005 naming his business associate Anna Gray as executor, allowing her guardianship of his entire estate.
Utah District Court Judge James Taylor is expected to take several months to hold a trial in order to determine which document would be upheld as Coleman’s last legal will.
Coleman is best remembered as the star of the long-running TV show, “Diff’rent Strokes.” Standing at a diminutive four feet, eight inches, the pint-sized star, who was born with a congenital kidney ailment, opted in 2005 for cremation.
He had also expressed that with the exception of a wake, no funeral service or any other kind of memorial should be held in his honor. .
“I direct my personal representative to cause my personal remains to be cremated and to plan a wake for me conducted by those who have had no financial ties to me and can look each other in the eyes and say they really cared personally for Gary Coleman,” he wrote in the will, dated 11 years ago.
Coleman’s remains are being kept at a Utah mortuary until a legal decision about his estate is reached.