The Godfather of Soul died on Christmas Day, 2006. His estate has been marred by fighting ever since. Here’s our Forbes recap of the legal troubles which have left James Brown’s estate and wishes in limbo.
The Associated Press reported last week that the court battles devastated his estate so much that his charitable trust had dwindled in value all the way down to $14,000, with $20 million of debt, until a 2009 settlement. This was quite a drop, because original estimates of the value of Brown’s estate came in at the $100 million mark.
The settlement — which was supposed to end all of the fighting — called for about half of Brown’s assets to pass to a charitable trust, with one-quarter going to his widow and the rest passing to all of his children. The deal also led to the court appointment of a new attorney to administer the estate, Russell Bauknight.