"I know that he loved me like a daughter," Cameron said. "This is a man who for five years I got him up, dressed him, laughed with him, watched football with him."
The will bears two scrawled signatures. One appears to be Williams' full name, the other his last name.
The document is dated Sept. 21, 2000, but was notarized on Sept. 20, 2000.
Chavis said she spoke to Williams before he signed the will and was satisfied that it reflected his wishes. "He said, 'She takes good care of me,' " Chavis recalled.
Chavis did not consult Williams' relatives about the will. They learned about it when a Times reporter called, seeking comment.
"That's some fraud," said Idell Alexander of South Los Angeles, Williams' cousin. "Louis was very sick. There's no telling what they had him sign."
After Williams died in January 2002, Cameron filed the will in Probate Court, represented by Chavis' lawyer, C. Brian Smith. Cameron was appointed administrator of Williams' estate.
Chavis submitted a final accounting of Williams' assets and, with court approval, paid herself and her lawyer, Smith, $12,500 in fees.
Chavis was required to turn over the rest of Williams' estate to Cameron. After nearly two years, Chavis still had not made full payment.
In the end, she kept more than $15,000, a court-appointed lawyer found.
Cameron decided not to pursue that money and asked the court to award her what was left of the estate: $61,593.
Superior Court Judge Aviva Bobb, newly arrived in Probate Court, approved the distribution in February, rejecting complaints from Alexander and the VA that the will looked phony.
Last month, after The Times submitted questions to her about the case, Bobb stayed her ruling and said she would hold a hearing to determine whether Cameron should be allowed to inherit the money.
'A Real Good Front'
Chavis might still be accepting new clients if not for a burly Vietnam veteran and his well-connected lawyer.
Patrick Murphy was 18 when his Marine unit came under fire in Quang Nam province in 1968. A grenade explosion shredded his legs. Today, he gets around on crutches and a motorized scooter. The shrapnel in his body sets off airport metal detectors.
Murphy was at the VA hospital in Loma Linda, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, when Chavis became his conservator in July 1999.
"She put on a real good front," Murphy, now 55, said in an interview. "She can look you in the face and you can think this woman is really out to do the best for you."