AIKEN, S.C. – James Brown’s will, filed in Aiken County on Thursday, names six children and calls for many of the soul legend’s personal possessions, such as clothes, jewelry, boats and automobiles, to be divided among them.
The will, obtained by The Associated Press, does not name the 5-year-old child of Brown and his partner, Tomi Rae Hynie.
The document, which doesn’t include an estimate of Brown’s estate, begins, “I, James Brown, also known as ‘The Godfather of Soul’ … have six living children.”
The bequest was signed 10 months before the child’s birth and more than a year before Brown was married to Hynie.
Attorneys who handled the will told the AP that the child may be entitled to some of the estate, but a paternity test would be needed.
“We would not want to divide and deliver property until all these issues are resolved,” said attorney Ray Massey.
The will says Brown intentionally failed to provide for “any other relatives or persons whether claiming, or to claim, to be an heir of mine or not.”
Brown died of heart failure in an Atlanta hospital Christmas morning at age 73.
Most of Brown’s “primary assets,” including the singer’s music rights and his 60-acre Beech Island estate, are in an irrevocable trust separate from his will, according to Brown’s attorney and trustee Buddy Dallas.
On Thursday, Brown’s body remained in a sealed, gold casket in a temperature-controlled room at his Beech Island home, said Charles Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, Ga., which handled Brown’s funeral.
His children have said through an attorney they are planning to turn his home into a Graceland-like museum and build a mausoleum on the site for his body.
The will, and Hynie and her son’s exclusion, has added to a dispute about Brown’s legacy.
Brown’s attorneys contend that Hynie is not Brown’s widow because she was still married to another man when they said their vows.
They have said Hynie later annulled her previous marriage, but she and Brown never remarried.