Saturday, September 21, 2013
As I have previously discussed, the Estate of James Brown has been dragged through a serious legal battle. The dispute came about when Brown's spouse and children learned that Brown's will and irrevocable trust was being left to charity. The family members went to court to set aside the will and attempted to have the estate divided according to the intestate succession rules. The Attorney General at the time conducted a settlement negotiation and was successful. The personal representatives of the estate and trustees of the trust were upset to find that half of the estate was being divided to those challenging the will and trust. As a result, the personal representatives and the trustees challenged the settlement agreement. Eventually, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned the settlement due to lack of evidence proving that Brown would not have excluded his family in the distribution of his estate and instructed that fiduciaries be appointed to carry out the original instructions.
See Nonprofit Blogger, South Carolina Supreme Court Rejects AG Negotiated Resolution of James Brown Estate Dispute, Law Professor Blog Network, Sep. 19, 2013.
Special thanks to Susan Gary (Professor at Law, University of Oregon School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.