I previously wrote here about virtual adoptions, and how under this doctrine persons potentially deemed to be "heirs" of an intestate estate may include non-biological descendants if the child was raised by the decedent, even if never legally adopted. James Brown’s estate may soon have to grapple with this issue based on the brewing paternity dispute reported in Soul legend James Brown instructed lawyers before he died to carry out DNA tests to show if he was the father of his wife’s son, which provides as follows:
Brown’s family lawyer Debra Opri told CNN’s Larry King the singer never wanted five-year-old James Joseph Brown II tested when he was alive, but wanted it done for the rest of his family’s sake once he was gone.
The boy is the son of Tomi Rae Hynie, 36, who after the star’s death on Christmas Day said she was locked out of his South Carolina home after another lawyer alleged they had not been legally married.
Hynie insists they were and she has documentation to prove it, and Brown was her son’s father.
Hynie told King the little boy was "absolutely without a doubt" Brown’s son and she would welcome a test.
"There is no doubt about it," she said. "No doubt to my husband, no doubt to me and I’d be willing to take any test that they’d like to take."