Gary Coleman Leaves Bittersweet Instructions for Funeral
The actor only wanted people who "really cared personally" at his wake, his will says
So often surrounded by Hollywood users and hangers-on during his career, Gary Coleman made it clear he wanted to have nothing to do with them after he died.
His two-page will, filed Tuesday in a Provo, Utah, court, requests that his remains be cremated, then spells out who would be – and not be – welcome at his wake.
The actor wanted only “those who have no financial ties to me and who can look each other in the eyes and say they really cared personally for Gary Coleman,” according to the will.
In addition, “I direct my personal representative to permit no members of the press to be present at my wake or funeral,” the will states.
The 1999 document appoints his former manager Dion Mial, 46, as executor of his estate, giving him broad powers to set funeral plans in motion, assess the value of the estate and decide how any money is to be paid out according to a trust, the details of which were not revealed.
The star of Diff’rent Strokes died relatively broke, with his main asset being his $315,000 Utah home.
“Before anyone gets paid, his medical and funeral bills have to be covered first,” Mial’s attorney Kent Alderman tells PEOPLE. “Whatever’s left after that will be distributed according to his trust.”
In the court documents accompanying the will, Mial expresses concern that Coleman’s ex-wife Shannon Price, 24, “has been removing personal property from [Coleman’s] home which has not been inventoried or accounted for.”
Mial has lashed out against Coleman’s ex, accusing her of trying to profit off Coleman’s death by selling interviews and photos.
Price’s spokeswoman, Shielia Erickson, declined to comment on the allegations, but said Price intends to contest the 1999 will. Price claims she has a 2007 will in which Coleman would leave her everything.
However, Alderman says the ex-couple’s divorce effectively nullifies any other will.
It remains to be seen if Coleman’s parents, Sue, 67, and Willie Coleman, 71, whom the actor stopped communicating with around 1995, will be invited to any funeral. They are not mentioned by name in the will. It was Mial who Coleman’s parents once blamed for turning their son against them in the late ’80s.
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