Estate Litigation Delaying Burial of James Brown

February 20, 2007 Hull & Hull LLP Archived BLOG POSTS - Hull on Estates, Support After Death Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

Entertainment media has recently focused its eye on the death of celebrity pop-icon, Anna Nicole Smith. In one of last week’s blog entries Megan Connolly commented on the estate litigation left in her wake.

Today I wish to discuss another personality whose death has made headlines – legendary soul singer, James Brown.

Brown sadly died of heart failure on December 25, 2006. Although it has been almost eight weeks since his death, his body has yet to be buried. This is reportedly due to a dispute between relatives and his former partner, Tommie Rae Hynie over burial procedures and rights to the assets of the estate.

Brown’s Will excludes Hynie and their 5-year-old son. Hynie maintains that she is Brown’s widow and ought to receive half of his estate. Brown’s attorneys claim that the marriage was not official because Hynie was married to another man at the time.

If Brown and Hynie’s marriage is not ultimately recognized, she may be awarded nothing from the estate. Their son, on the other hand, will most likely be entitled to share in the portion of the estate gifted to Brown’s other six children.

It will be interesting to see how and when this dispute resolves itself so that Brown can at long last receive a proper burial. Until then, as the National Post reports, Brown’s body will be held in a temporary crypt in an undisclosed location.

Until tomorrow,

Natalia Angelini

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