Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, December 30, 2007

James Brown Update

Brown4The saga surrounding the estate of James Brown, who died last year on Christmas Day, continues.

The following is from AP, James Brown's Children Challenge Will, Dec. 30, 2007:

Five of James Brown's children say their late father's will should be invalidated because his former advisers used undue influence to get him to create charitable trusts that the advisers would profit from, according to court documents filed this week.

The children were largely left out of the financial portion of the will, which leaves the bulk of the soul singer's money to trusts set up to educate Brown's grandchildren and needy kids.

Atlanta attorney Louis Levenson said the children discovered earlier wills drafted by their father that cast doubt on whether he truly wanted to leave his estate to charity.

"There was sporadic indication that Mr. Brown intended to benefit some charities, but the circumstances surrounding the making of these documents have always been clouded in mystery," Levenson said.

Five Brown children are challenging the will in Aiken County Probate Court. They claim Brown's longtime advisers Buddy Dallas, Alford Bradley and David Cannon convinced the soul singer to create the trusts so the advisers would profit from managing the two charities after Brown died.

Dallas denied the allegations and called attempts to void the will "an act of desperation."

"No one told James Brown what to do," Dallas said, adding that if he were going to use his influence to benefit himself, "I would have just influenced him into giving me something."

Special thanks to Neda Jahansouz and Sara Hudman (J.D. Candidates, Texas Tech University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2007/12/james-brown-upd.html

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