Call To Schedule An Appointment
Cherry Hill856-673-0048

Will contest has stalled distribution of James Brown's estate

New Jersey fans of James Brown may already know that this Christmas marks the eighth anniversary of his death. By all accounts, Brown's estate plan was meticulously done. It was obvious to those who perused it that he put his soul into its creation. However, that did not stop a will contest from stalling the distribution of his estate since his death.

Brown -- who had less than a 7th grade education -- earmarked millions of dollars to be placed into a charitable trust to furnish scholarships to children in need. In doing so, his estate plan virtually ignores his children and long-time companion, which may be what prompted them to contest the will. According to his family, Brown suffered from diminished mental capacity, and the executors of his estate took advantage of him.

Since then, the administration of his estate has fallen on several different people. The state even got involved at one point, and the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered a settlement brokered by the Attorney General to be stricken, among other things. The judge presiding over Brown's probate has yet to comply with all of the court's orders.

As is illustrated in Brown's case, even an estate plan that appears to be well constructed can be subject to a will contest if it is believed that its creator was not of sound mind. Brown's will even contains a caveat that anyone contesting the will would be disinherited, but that has not stopped the proceedings. For these reasons and more, it is imperative that a New Jersey resident's estate planning documents be executed in accordance with state law, which include safeguards to ensure that an individual is signing the documents of his or her own free will without duress or coercion.

Source: staradvertiser.com, "Downbeat legacy for Godfather of Soul: a will in deep dispute", Larry Rohter and Steve Knopper, Dec. 13, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
Representing clients in Ocean City and communities throughout New Jersey.


Rice & Quattrone, PC
1236 Brace Road, Suite F

Phone: 856-673-0048
Fax: 856-673-0052
Map & Directions

Rice & Quattrone, PC
Linwood Professional Plaza
2021 New Road, Unit #9
Linwood, NJ 08221

Phone: 609-398-3447
Fax: 856-673-0052
Map & Directions

Cherry Hill Office

Contact the firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy