Children of legendary recording artist Ray Charles are in a battle over the management of the late singer’s assets. The estate’s management and family member’s wishes have clashed according to a recent article published in the Los Angeles Times. The issue stems from the children’s’ wishes to handle the marketing of their father’s name and image, and assert a greater voice in the way his charitable foundation is run.
In 2002, Charles gathered his children and told them that the bulk of his assets would be left to the foundation, but that $500,000 would be placed in trusts for each of them. Charles also indicated that there might be more for them “down the line,” which led some of his children to believe that they would own the right to profit from licensing his name and likeness. In 1992, prior to his passing, Charles established a partnership with two of his children to market apparel and other items bearing his likeness. Charles’ estate plan, however, is apparently silent with respect to the rights associated with the use of his image, rights that his children contend he pledged to them.