ST LOUIS (LALATE) – A James Brown estate settlement prompted an appeals court change this week. In 2009, a James Brown estate settlement was finalized. The settlement was purportedly devised pursuant to Brown’s will drafted three years earlier, so claimed certain parties.
But today, a South Carolina Supreme Court disagreed. It overturned a lower court’s ruling approving the settlement agreement. It remains unclear the net worth of the James Brown estate, even to the parties involved. They told the appeals court that the estate could be valued between five and one hundred million dollars.
On Wednesday, the State Supreme Court ruled that the settlement did not follow James Brown’s will he drafted at age 73. The appeals court found that Brown
wanted much of his estate to go charity. But rather, the estate settlement inked in 2009 gave only about fifty percent to charity. So where did the rest go? The court found that the twenty-five percent given to widow Tomi Rae Hynie and twenty-five percent to his children was inappropriate.
Associate Justice John Kittredge wrote the decision published today. “The compromise orchestrated by the AG in this case destroys the estate plan Brown had established in favor of an arrangement overseen virtually exclusively by the AG.” Kittredge has ordered the case sent back to the lower court. Kittredge ruled that previously the “result is to take a large portion of Brown’s estate that Brown had designated for charity and to turn over these amounts to the family members and purported family members who were, under the plain terms of Brown’s will, given either limited devises or excluded”.