James Brown has yet to be buried. Over a month after his death, legal wrangling over Brown’s estate has prevented the signing icon from receiving a proper burial. And despite considerable precedence in cases like this, (Elvis Presley wasn’t buried for 90 days because of legal issues. Ted Williams’ family feuded for months over whether to freeze or cremate Williams’ body.) The man deserves to be buried immediately.
The dead deserve as much respect as the living. Regardless of the family’s or lawyers’ opinions about who deserves what, the Godfather of Soul deserves better treatment than he’s getting. He is probably rolling over in his coffin knowing his loved ones are bitterly filing petitions, suing each other, and arguing over the rights of Brown and his estate. Although Brown is mainly to blame for not having his will in order before death, the family could have resolved this situation privately and honorably, instead of making it a very public and very distasteful experience.
For now, Brown’s body lay in a sealed gold casket in his Greenville, South Carolina mansion. The main rift is between Brown’s longtime partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, and Brown’s attorneys over burial procedures and estate rights. Hynie sued for half of the late singer's estate, maintaining that she was married to Brown at the time of his death and that she's entitled to a portion of his assets despite the fact that he didn't provide for her in his will. Brown and Hynie exchanged vows in 2001, but Brown’s attorneys now claim that the marriage was never official because Hynie was married to another man at the time. Because Brown’s will predates his relationship with Hynie and the birth of their son, James Brown, Jr., Hynie and Brown, Jr. have basically been forgotten, omitted and locked out from the estate, death proceedings, and future family dealings.