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Judge puts Gary Coleman's cremation on hold

By Alan Duke, CNN
Gary Coleman's cremation will have to wait until after a Monday court hearing regarding his estate.
Gary Coleman's cremation will have to wait until after a Monday court hearing regarding his estate.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Judge sets Monday hearing to consider who controls Coleman estate
  • Cremation must wait until after Monday's hearing
  • Coleman's ex-wife claims they were married despite divorce
  • Mial was appointed special administrator of the estate last week
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(CNN) -- Gary Coleman's cremation will have to wait until at least Monday afternoon as a Utah judge considers arguments about who should control the late actor's estate, the judge ordered Friday.

Coleman named former manager Dion Mial as executor in a 1999 will, but his ex-wife is challenging that document and claims she was still legally married to him as his common law wife when he died last month.

Coleman's remains are at a Utah mortuary, awaiting direction from Utah District Judge James Taylor as to who can decide what happens to the body. While ex-wife Shannon Price and Mial agree Coleman wanted to be cremated, they are at odds on other details.

Taylor published an order Friday saying cremation must wait at least until after a hearing Monday afternoon where arguments over Coleman's estate will be presented.

Price, 24, filed a legal challenge for control of the late actor's estate with a Utah court Thursday.

Mial was appointed special administrator of the estate last week when his lawyer presented the court with the 1999 will.

Price's petition asked the judge to overturn that appointment and make her the special administrator, which would allow her to control decisions on his funeral and cremation.

"To strip Price's ability to make these decisions and to deprive her from acting for and on behalf of her deceased spouse, at least until a hearing is scheduled, would be a manifest injustice and would strip her of every shred of dignity that she possesses," her petition said.

Mial has ordered Price to stay away from the Utah home the couple shared before Coleman's death and to return all of his property, including a truck.

Coleman divorced Shannon Price in 2008, but they were living together at the Santaquin, Utah, home when he fell there last month. He died two days later of a brain hemorrhage in a Provo, Utah, hospital.

Price argued in her petition that she should be legally recognized as Coleman's common law wife.

"Notwithstanding the divorce decree, Price and the decedent continued to have a romantic relationship and engaged in romantic and sexual relations," the petition said.

The divorce was a secret, and they still held themselves out to the public as husband and wife, it said.

"They fought on occasion," the petition noted.

Price is also challenging the 1999 will, saying the probate court should instead accept a 2007 document that was handwritten by Coleman.

CNN's Brittany Kaplan and Jack Hannah contributed to this report.

 
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