In Re the Estate of James Brown and The James Brown 2000 Trust

James Brown 2000 Irrevocable Trust


James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, died Christmas Day 2006 from congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia. Problems with Brown’s estate came to the surface when it was clear that his wife at the time of his death, Tomi Rae Hynie, and the child from that relationship, were not included in his will that was executed in 2000. Also in 2000, Brown created the “I Feel Good Irrevocable Trust” which included the bulk of his musical copyright assets and real estate assets. The beneficiary of the trust is a charitable organization.

To add to the exciting mix, Brown was separated from Hynie at the time of his death and there are legal questions as to the validity of their actual marriage. Under South Carolina law, Hynie and the child from that relationship are entitled to an inheritance so long as they were not specifically disinherited in the will.

The family members reached a Settlement Agreement in 2007, which the court rejected. On April 6, 2009, the judge wrapped up hearings on the matter and a ruling on the division of the estate is anticipated.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Reference Info:State, 4th Circuit, South Carolina | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Tamera Bennett, Bennett Law Office, PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Bennett Law Office, PC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.