Three wills discovered in Aretha Franklin’s house

The news this week reported that three hand-written wills had been found in Ms Franklin’s home some nine months after her death.

When the US soul singer died in August 2018 at the age of 76, family members said at the time she hadn’t left a will. Earlier this month, however, it was reported that three documents had been found.

Two of them were discovered in a locked cabinet once they had been located, and they dated back to 2010. The third, dated 2014, was hidden under cushions in the living room, David Bennett, a lawyer for her estate said.

Estate worth $80 million

Ms Franklin left an estate worth $80 million. Her lawyer said the estate is involved in “many continuing projects” including various TV and film deals, as well as dealing with creditor claims.

Mr Bennett said the 2014 will, which was written on pages in a spinal notebook, appeared to leave her assets to her family although the pages were hard to make out. Words had been scratched out and phrases added to the margins.

Mr Bennett filed the wills on Monday, although he told the judge he was not sure if they were legal under Michigan law, the state in which Ms Franklin died. He had shared the will with Ms Franklin’s four sons or their lawyers but they had not been able to agree on whether any of the three wills should be considered valid.

Challenge from sons

Two of Ms Franklin’s sons object to the will, according to a statement from her estate and a hearing is scheduled for 12 June.

In a separate court filing, Ms Franklin’s son, Kecalf Franklin, said his mother had wanted him to serve as a representative for her estate in the 2014 will. The estate statement, however, confirmed that Sabrina Owens, is to continue to serve as the representative. A statement said Ms Owens remained neutral and hoped that everyone concerned would make wise choices on behalf of their mother’s estate and legacy.

Kecalf Franklin currently objects to plans to sell land next to his mother’s home in Oakland County for $325,000, roughly £255,960.

Aretha Franklin was recently honoured with a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.

Finders International has expertise in finding missing wills, as well as other important documentation such as missing, dormant and unclaimed assets within the UK. We also offer overseas bankruptcy searches, giving you peace of mind on an estate’s true value. Email us at [email protected] to find out more.