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Home » Estate Litigation » After 15 years, dispute over James Brown estate resolved

Individuals in New Jersey take the time to develop an estate plan as a way to protect heirs, prevent or ease the probate process and pass their property to the beneficiaries named in their will or trust. However, an estate plan can be complex and multifaceted. Even if it was thoughtfully and carefully drafted, it could still result in issues and estate litigation.

Ongoing estate administration

Following the death of a loved one, family members expect that all affairs will be taken care of in a relatively short period of time. However, when the estate is complex and there are disputes among heirs and beneficiaries, this could cause the process to take an exceedingly long time. Take the estate administration of the iconic music legend James Brown for example.

It has been nearly 15 years since he past, and legal battles have ensued over will disputes. His children, administrators and former lover have disputed over his estate and assets for over a decade. However, recently reports suggest that the battle might be over and a resolution will be reached.


After a recent lengthy mediation lasting two months, it was reported that a settlement was reached. While the details of the agreement have not been made public, the main issues have been reported on. The parties disagreed over the value of the estate. While some have it calculated at nearly $5 million, other deem that it is more lavish and reaches $100 million. At issue was also the worth of his expansive music catalog. Finally, other estate issues, such as trusts, were at issue. It is believed that all estate issues have been resolved in the agreement the parties recently reached.

After one’s passing, it is presumed that soon after his or her belongings and assets would pass to the beneficiaries or heirs named in an estate plan. Unfortunately, this process could take a long time, resulting in numerous disputes. Thus, it is imperative that one considers how to move the process forward and address any estate plan issues.