Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 24 May 2015

Ruling in dispute over Brown will

A US court has overturned a settlement involving the estate of James Brown
A US court has overturned a settlement involving the estate of James Brown

A US court has overturned a settlement involving the estate of James Brown, saying a former attorney general did not follow the late soul singer's wishes in putting together the deal.

Henry McMaster brokered a settlement that split Brown's estate, giving nearly half to a charitable trust, a quarter to his widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, and the rest to be split among his adult children.

But South Carolina Supreme Court justices said that Brown's wishes were for most of his money to go to charity.

The court ruled the Godfather of Soul was of sound mind when he made his will and when he died in 2006 at the age of 73.

The justices ordered the estate be returned to a lower court to be reconsidered.

The fight over Brown's estate even included what to do with his body. Family members fought over the remains for more than two months, leaving Brown's body, still inside a gold coffin, sitting in cold storage in a funeral home.

Brown was eventually buried in South Carolina, at the home of one of his daughters.

The family wanted to turn the home into a shrine for Brown similar to Elvis Presley's Graceland, but that idea has not got off the ground.

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