James Brown Estate Battle Still Wages On

You may hear a lot about celebrities and their troubles with alcohol and drugs. But sometimes even though they may be struggling with decisions they have made in their personal lives, they've done good by leaving a fortune to charities when they've pass away.

One such celebrity is James Brown. When he died in 2006, he left $100 million dollars in a trust that was set up to help children who are poor and in need. Unfortunately, this fortune has yet to be distributed to a single child in need.

The reason for this is that when he died he left nine (known) children, several ex-wives, and another wife that he was married to at the time of his death for 5 years, who he may have fathered a child with. Further complicating matters, he never updated his will in the entire time of his new marriage, so no provisions are made for either the wife or child.

In 2009 it appeared that the case was about to finally reach an end when a judge in South Carolina awarded a settlement to the family for a 50% share in the estate and the other half going to charity. But then former trustees of the estate filed an appeal to block the settlement which is ongoing at this point.

Several important things can be learned from this case such as the importance of updating your wills and trusts when substantial changes in your life occur like getting married and having another child. Or making sure you set up more air tight trusts and documents that cannot be refuted if you want such large amounts of your estate to go to charity.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and have recently experienced major changes in your life you should contact an estate litigation Lawyer to either create a new estate plan or make changes to an existing one.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.
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