James Brown's estate gets complicated


The estate of famed soul singer James Brown has been just as complex as his life. His children, grandchildren, people who claim to be his children but haven't yet proven it, three ex-wives and a fourth woman who says she was his wife are all fighting for their cut.

Now it's gotten worse. According to the New York Times, "a lawsuit filed Tuesday by two court-appointed trustees of his estate accuses his longtime business managers, including a retired judge, of stealing millions of dollars from Mr. Brown. The suit, filed in South Carolina state court, also accuses the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, one of its lawyers, and a South Carolina bank of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and conspiracy to defraud the legendary soul singer."

You can read the Times piece for the sordid details -- This will probably spends years in court before it's fully sorted out, but it certainly serves as a cautionary tale of an estate gone very, very, very wrong.

If this freak show scares you as much as it scares me, consider picking up a copy of Estate Planning for Dummies and making sure your house is in order.