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James Brown's estate subject to more will contest

With all of the grief and preparations that must be made following the death of a loved one, the last thing that should cause conflict or familial splits is the division of the deceased person's estate. While a will seems simple and binding enough, the majority of family fights arise during probate and estate administration, especially during the actual distribution of the assets.

As time passes, more relatives may feel entitled to a portion of the estate of the deceased person. In New Jersey, there even is a law restricting how quickly after a person's death the probate process can finish. Recent developments in the division of James Brown's estate demonstrate that point perfectly.

Even though James Brown died more than four years ago, there is still new conflict and criticism from family and alleged heirs, each stating that his estate is not being divided according to his wishes.

According to Brown's old record producer, his entire estate was meant to be placed in a trust fund. However, a recent settlement agreement would split the estimated $100-million-estate between Brown's family and a trust designed to fund the education of needy children.

When you are preparing your estate for distribution, it is important to keep a few things in mind. A legal will should include the signatures of two or three witnesses. If you are making changes to your will, discussing the changes with all your family members can help ensure they know your will is up-to-date, thereby helping to reduce the chances of fights after your death.

Read the next article to learn more about the division of James Brown's estate, as well as tips you can learn from him.

Source: New York Post, "James Brown's ex-produced fighting family over his estate," Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 3 Aril 2011

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