Judge Rules Britney Spears Is ‘Independent Woman’ Who Can Sign Her Own Estate Paperwork, Manage Finances

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
December 9, 2021 Updated: December 9, 2021

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Dec. 8. ruled that Britney Spears can now sign her own estate paperwork and manage her finances for the first time in nearly 14 years.

The ruling by Judge Brenda J. Penny hands Spears back the rights to handle her own cash and property and means that the singer “has the capacity to do whatever she wants,” her attorney, Mathew Rosengart, said.

“As of Nov. 12, 2021, for the first time in 13-plus years, Britney Spears is a free, independent woman and Judge Penny once again today acknowledged that by indicating she has the capacity to do whatever she wants,” Rosengart told reporters outside Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. “So it wasn’t surprising to hear Judge Penny say that but it was confirmatory of what we all know based on what happened on Nov. 12.”

The ruling comes just one month after Penny ended the controversial conservatorship that has allegedly controlled Spears’s money for the past decade.

At that hearing, the temporary conservator of the estate, John Zabel, who took over after Spears’s father was removed from the role in September, was given the power of execution of the estate trust and power to transfer assets into the trust, Variety reported.

Zabel will continue as the temporary conservator of Spears’s estate in a limited capacity predominantly to wrap up financial issues until Jan. 19, when the next hearing is scheduled.

Britney Spears conservatorship case returns to court, in Los Angeles
Supporters of pop star Britney Spears hug as they celebrate after a judge suspended the father of Britney Spears from his 13-years-long role as the controller of the singer’s business affairs at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, California, on Sept. 29, 2021. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

The order was needed because Britney’s father, James “Jamie” Spears, allegedly “planted a term” in her prior estate-planning documents that kept her “unnecessarily tethered to the court” by needing a judge’s approval to request any changes, a lawyer for her new accountant said in court filings, according to Rolling Stone.

“Can we just have relief from that provision, revoking that provision, so Ms. Spears, as an independent woman not under a conservatorship anymore, can execute the papers? And we will know if that happens that they will have full force and effect?” Rosengart asked Penny.

The judge then agreed to make the order so that the singer has the ability to execute documents and also granted a motion to seal paperwork related to Spears’s new estate plan.

Spears’s father attended the court via phone and spoke only to identify himself. His attorney Alex Weingarten said he may move for full access to the estate planning petition before the Jan. 19 hearing, Deadline reported.

The Epoch Times has contacted Weingarten for comment.

During a hearing in June, Spears spoke out for the first time about the controversial conservatorship which she said made her feel as if she could not “live a full life.”

The singer also claimed members of her family engaged in “conservatorship abuse” and said she would not again perform unless her father was removed from his role as estate conservator.

Jamie Spears has denied any wrongdoing in the case and said he’s only acting in his daughter’s best interest. His former lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, said in September that her client “does not answer to the court of public opinion” and “answers to a court of law, the probate court.”

After the conservatorship was removed, Spears took to Instagram to thank fans for their support while claiming that members of her family should be “in jail” for what they did to her, but she did not elaborate further.

“I do know how embarrassing [it] is to share the fact I’ve never seen cash or wasn’t able to drive my car,” Spears wrote, adding, “It still blows my mind every day I wake up how my family and the conservatorship were able to do what they did to me.”

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.