*The ex-wife of Gary Coleman filed a petition Thursday to be appointed as the special administrator of the late actor’s estate, claiming she has an amended will signed in 2005 that grants her the authority to do so.
In the document, filed in 4th District Court in Provo, Shannon Price claims that despite their divorce in August 2008, she is still his common law wife and therefore should be the one to make funeral arrangements
Price referred to Coleman as her husband when she called 911 on May 26, saying the actor had fallen and was bleeding severely from the back of his head. Coleman died two days later from a brain hemorrhage and his last-known will names friend and former manager Dion Mial as his estate’s executor.
Coleman said in the 1999 will that he wanted to be remembered in a wake conducted by people who had no financial ties to him. However, documents filed by Price’s attorneys say they have an unsigned will drawn up in 2005 that names Price as the conservator of his estate.
Among the exhibits attached to Price’s affidavit is a 2007 handwritten note with Coleman’s signature that’s intended to amend any earlier wills and name Price as the sole heir of his earnings, home, toy trains and other property.
“I made this change of free will and was not coerced in any way,” says the note dated Sept. 4, 2007, less than a month after Coleman and Price married. “This I have done because of my personal selfishness and my weakness and I love her with all my heart.”
The documents said Price and Coleman lived together at his Santaquin home about 65 miles south of Salt Lake City until his death, maintained joint bank accounts and had sexual relations.
The couple “assumed all marital rights, duties and obligations consistent with a marital relationship after the decree was entered,” including filing taxes as a married couple.