James Brown is finally going to be buried…somewhere.
The dueling factions left behind when the Godfather of Soul died on Christmas Day put aside their differences long enough to reach an agreement as to the late entertainer's final resting place.
Lawyers for Tomi Rae Hynie, Brown's partner who refers to herself in court documents as the singer's "omitted spouse," and Brown's six adult children met up in a South Carolina courthouse Tuesday, where a judge appointed a special administrator to oversee the handling of Brown's estate.
The iconic performer's offspring had been looking to have Brown's longtime lawyer, Buddy Dallas, and two other men removed as trustees, accusing the trio of harboring a conflict of interest that prevented them from managing their father's affairs properly. They also alleged that some of Brown's assets were in danger of being "lost or dissipated or stolen."
Aiken County Circuit Court Judge Doyet Early ruled that Dallas, accountant David Cannon and Alford "Judge" Bradley could stay on as executors, but that an outside administrator would come on board to "protect the estate by permitting all claims to be pursued and investigated with the required due diligence."
Early's order also prevents Dallas and the others from selling or transferring any of Brown's assets unless the court is in agreement. The judge also gave them five days to return any property—paperwork, checkbooks, etc.—they may have taken from Brown's Beech Island residence.
Despite not getting the exact ruling they wanted, Brown's kids are pleased, according to attorney David Yount, because now a third party will be on hand to investigate any impropriety.
It was Hynie's legal camp that had petitioned for the special administrator. The former backup singer, who sued Brown's estate after she and her five-year-old son, James Brown Jr., were left out of Brown's will, is also happy with the decision, Hynie's attorney, Robert Rosen, said.
Dallas, who has maintained that Hynie and Brown were never legally married, told the Associated Press that he felt vindicated by Early's decision.
"We told the court that we had no objection whatsoever to a special administrator and the court has now ruled that there were no improprieties on the part of the personal representatives," Dallas, who worked for Brown for 25 years, said, adding that this latest legal action has "delayed the wishes and legacy of Mr. Brown."
Meanwhile, Rosen told the AP that Hynie and Brown's grown children (who were mentioned in papa's will, which doled out personal possessions such as cars and costumes and set aside money for his grandchildren's educations) have finally agreed on a burial site for Brown.
The burial could take place "in the next few days," Rosen said, but all other details, such as exactly when and where, are being kept under wraps at the children's request.
Brown's body was previously being kept in a climate-controlled room in his Beech Island mansion, while the late singer's legal camp sorted out the paperwork that would allow him to be buried on site as part of a plan for a Graceland-inspired memorial shrine.
Charles Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, Georgia, said that the body is now in a confidential location, that he has been checking on it and that it's in fine condition.