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From the untrained eye, it would seem that the relationship between Bobby Brown and the family of the late Whitney Houston would get better after the death of the pair’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown last year. Before her death, a trust was created that named Bobbi Kristina’s grandmother Cissy Houston and her aunt Pat Houston as co-trustees. So when the trust became effective upon Bobbi Kristina’s death, it held nearly all of the assets left to her by Whitney Houston, including royalties earned from music that still are being paid.

There has been an overarching concern that Bobby Brown would try to obtain some of Bobbi Kristina’s assets for his personal gain, given that under Georgia intestate law, a parent would be able to inherit the assets of a deceased child. However, the trustees of Bobbi Kristina’s trust have vowed to fight Mr. Brown over any ownership questions that may come. 

Apparently this sentiment has extended to the administrator of Bobbi Kristina’s estate. Bedilia Hargrove has sued Cissy and Pat Houston for failing to allow funds to be expended from Bobbi Kristina’s trust to pay for the estate’s operating expenses. The specifics regarding the expenses have not been reported, but it is reported that the Houstons have refused to release trust money unless they deemed the expenses “reasonable.” Conversely, the administrator is claiming that the Houstons are deliberately “impeding and impairing the proper administration of the estate.”

It remains to be seen how this dispute will play out, but it is an example of why careful estate planning can help in avoiding these types of disputes.