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Aretha Franklin’s handwritten will found in sofa ruled valid by jury – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Aretha Franklin’s handwritten will found in sofa ruled valid by jury

A Michigan jury has determined that Aretha Franklin’s handwritten will, which was discovered in a sofa nearly five years after her death, is valid. The will, dated 2014 and found in Franklin’s Detroit home, resolves the dispute over the division of the legendary singer’s estate, according to the New York Times.

Kecalf and Edward Franklin, the musician’s sons, argued that the handwritten will should take precedence over a 2010 will that was discovered at the same time in a locked cabinet.

The earlier document, as stated by the New York Times, required Kecalf and Edward to complete business classes and obtain a certificate or degree in order to receive benefits from the estate.

Aretha Franklin
The wills of the Queen of Soul were discovered in her Detroit home after her death in 2018.
Getty Images
Kecalf Franklin, the son of Aretha Franklin
The probate court trial revolved around two wills, one from 2010 and another from 2014.
AP

However, the 2014 will did not include any education requirements.

Instead, the later document stated that three of Aretha’s sons, including Ted White Jr., would equally share her music royalties. Kecalf and his children would also inherit her home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and her vehicles.


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White, the singer’s middle son, argued that the 2010 will should be upheld. According to the New York Times, that document was more detailed and featured Aretha’s signature on every page.

Aretha Franklin's will
The wills were written out in a notebook.
Oakland County Probate Court
Aretha Franklin's granddaughter Grace Franklin
The estate of the “Respect” hitmaker will be divided among three of her sons and her grandchildren.
AP

The sons have reportedly agreed to support Clarence, the music icon’s first child, who is said to have a mental illness according to court documents.

It was not known at the time of Aretha’s death from pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018, that she had left behind these wills. They were unearthed by her niece in 2019.

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At the time of her death, Aretha’s estate was valued at $80 million. However, due to years of legal fees and unpaid taxes, it is now estimated to be around $6 million.

Aretha Franklin’s handwritten will was deemed valid by a Michigan jury on Tuesday, nearly five years after it was discovered tucked away in a sofa.

The document from 2014, which was found in the Queen of Soul’s Detroit home after her 2018 death, settled the debate over how the legendary singer’s estate will be divided, the New York Times reported.

Lawyers for the musician’s sons Kecalf and Edward Franklin argued that the handwritten will should override a 2010 will that was found around the same time in a locked cabinet.

According to the outlet, the earlier document stipulated that Kecalf and Edward “must take business classes and get a certificate or a degree” to benefit from the estate.

Aretha Franklin
The Queen of Soul’s wills were found in her Detroit home after her death in 2018.
Getty Images
Kecalf Franklin, the son of Aretha Franklin
Two wills, one from 2010 and another from 2014, were at the center of the probate court trial.
AP

The 2014 will, however, did not include an education requirement.

Instead, the later document stated that three of Aretha’s sons, including Ted White Jr., would split her music royalties equally. Kecalf and his children would also inherit her home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and her vehicles.


For more TheFantasyTimes you love …


White, the singer’s middle son, had argued that the 2010 will should stand. That document, per the New York Times, was more detailed and included Aretha’s signature on every page.

Aretha Franklin's will
The documents were written out in a notebook.
Oakland County Probate Court
Aretha Franklin's granddaughter Grace Franklin
The “Respect” hitmaker’s estate will be divided between three of her sons and her grandchildren.
AP

The outlet reported that the sons have agreed to support Clarence, the music icon’s first child, who according to court documents has a mental illness.

When the “Respect” hitmaker died from pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16, 2018, it was unknown that she had left the wills behind until they were unearthed by her niece in 2019.

At the time of Aretha’s death, her estate was worth $80 million. It’s now estimated to be around $6 million due to years of legal fees and unpaid taxes.

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