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James Brown: The Final Act?

James Brown’s estate issues have appeared on our blog on a number of occasions: see here, here, here and here.

It appears that the matter may now be at an end. On Tuesday, a South Carolina judge approved a settlement that gives nearly half of his estate to a charitable trust, a quarter to his wife and young son, and a quarter to his six adult children, according to an Associated Press report on the Macleans.ca website.

James Brown died on December 25, 2006. Numerous issues arose following his death. There were allegations of improper management of his estate; a dispute over where and how to bury his body; and an issue as to the entitlement of his wife and son, both of whom came along after his will was made in 2000.

The exact size of the Godfather of Soul’s estate is unknown. His estate was said to be valued at $80m, but subject to substantial debt.

The settlement was reached in January 2009, but the court refused to approve the settlement, and required further information. That approval was granted on Tuesday.

But wait! There may be an encore. There are pending lawsuits by the prior estate administrators, and a former employee. We may not have heard the last of this matter.

Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend.

Paul Trudelle