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In Woodland Hills, at the end of a secluded, cozy cul-de-sac, sits the home of legendary Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols. Playing Lt. Uhura on the long-running TV show, as well as enjoying other groundbreaking roles, gave Nichols a career that spanned over seven decades. But now, living in New Mexico with family and struggling with dementia, Nichols’ life is very different. That has sparked a conservatorship battle, and caused both family and friendship strife for the once-popular television star and those close to her.
The battle over the house, and over the care of Nichols, has been going on for years. Now, sources closest to her say she’s in financial straits, and there are arguments over who’s caring for her properly and who may be trying to take advantage of her vulnerable state. Kyle Johnson, her only child, is her current conservator. While concerned friend Angelique Fawcette and former manager Gilbert Bell have reached out for legal advice in their alleged desire to help Nichols.
Johnson has been conservator to his mother since 2018, while Bell filed suit in 2019 to try to get Johnson removed from Nichols’ guest house. Johnson countersued, arguing that Bell was trying to exert influence over Nichols, and drain her finances by taking advantage of her fading memory. Fawcette entered the legal battle to try to get visitation rights to see her friend, and to keep her in Woodland Hills.
The concern for everyone involved is that Nichols isn’t being allowed to enjoy her remaining years the way she wants to. But at 88 and with dementia, she may not be clear on how she would legitimately want to live out the rest of her days. The legal battle will likely continue, but the house in Woodland Hills has been sold, and Johnson retains conservatorship over his mother at this time.
There are no easy answers when it comes to eldercare or estate planning; you need to make the choices that make the most sense for your specific circumstances. A skilled attorney can help you structure a plan to meet your goals and protect what’s most important to you. Contact us today to learn more!