SC Supreme Court overturns estate settlement out of respect late singer's wishes

Last Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned a settlement between..... splitting up the soul singer's estate. According to the court, a former attorney general failed to follow Brown's wishes when putting the settlement together back in 2009.

Brown, dubbed the Godfather of Soul, was 73 years old when he died of heart failure on Christmas Day back in 2006. The 2009 settlement gave nearly half of Brown's money to a charitable trust, one quarter to his widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, and the rest to be split up among his adult children. Even now, it isn't clear how much the singer's estate is worth, but it is estimated to be with between $5 million and $100 million.

In considering the case, the court found that the settlement ignored Brown's wishes that most of his money go to charity. The court also ruled that he was of sound mind when he made his will. The court agreed with the lower court's decision to remove Brown's original trustees. Members of Brown's family had wanted them out of there and claimed that they had mismanaged the estate. The dispute came about after the ousted trustees sued.

One of the concerns voiced by the court about the settlement was that, if allowed to stand, it could end up discouraging people from leaving most of their money to charity for fear that their wishes may not be honored. James Brown had wanted much of his estate to go toward supporting education of needy children.

The decision does send the message that courts will intervene if estate settlements do no accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased.

Source: Huffington Post, "James Brown Estate: South Carolina Supreme Court Nixes Settlement," Meg Kinnard, February 27, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

msg iconEmail Us For a Response

When you have legal questions or concerns, contact our team at Teiger Law Center, P.C., by calling 678-374-7645, 800-780-2275 or reach us via email by completing our online contact form. From our Cumming and Alpharetta law offices, we represent clients in the Atlanta metro and throughout north Georgia.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Cumming Office
514 West Maple Street
Suite 101
Cumming, GA 30040

Toll Free: 866-726-2153
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Cumming Law Office Map

Alpharetta Office
12600 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 100
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Toll Free: 800-780-2275
Phone: 678-374-7645
Fax: 770-406-8858
Map & Directions