The trust handling James Brown's estate owes more than $70,000 for his elaborate funeral and care of his body for nearly three months before it was laid to rest in March, according to the funeral director who handled the soul singer's arrangements.
"I'm just waiting on them to get some of this mess straightened out," said Charles Reid, of C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, which handled Mr. Brown's funeral. "I really haven't pushed the issue, even though I'd like to have my money."
Some of the funeral costs have already been paid, and trustees have mailed a check to Mr. Reid this week covering the outstanding balance, Mr. Brown's longtime adviser and trustee Buddy Dallas said Wednesday.
"It was the children that ran up a funeral bill of over $150,000, not the trustees," Mr. Dallas said. "We've done our very best to do what we could to accommodate the creditors. There's no great big pile of money or surplus of money just lying around."
Louis Levenson, an attorney for Mr. Brown's six adult children, said Wednesday it is the trust's responsibility to pay for the funeral costs, which he considers a "reasonable" amount.
Mr. Brown's children filed a motion this week asking a judge to provide accounting records of Mr. Brown's trust and estate before and after the singer's death, Mr. Levenson said.