Supposed widow and son of James Brown left out of his will

Writing a will in Lee County, FL is typically not something you do once in your life and then forget about it. Since your situation may change over the years, it is important that you keep your last will and testament updated. Whenever a major life event occurs, such as a marriage, birth or death of a child or death of a spouse, it is often necessary to amend your will to accommodate these changes. Doing so can help your wishes be carried out in the way you see fit.

One man that apparently did not update his will after he allegedly married and fathered a child is the legendary singer, James Brown. His will has been tied up in all manner of litigation since his death over six years ago. A woman who claims to have married Brown after he wrote his will is just one of the parties who contested the will.

Although he had a pretty straight-forward will that stated any future spouses or children would not be entitled to his estate, the law in the state where Brown resided allows spouses who were wed and children who were born after the will was signed to have a share in the estate unless the will expressly said so.

The woman won a settlement four years ago, but that award was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court recently when it was found that Brown’s will clearly stated that any and all future spouses or heirs should not inherit any part of the estate.

Although the issue was eventually resolved, a lot of heartache could have been avoided if the will had been updated after the marriage took place and the child was born.

Source: Forbes, “Court Scolds SC Attorney General For Hijacking James Brown Estate,” Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Feb. 28, 2013

FindLaw Network