Tags: aretha franklin | wills | battle | sons

Aretha Franklin's Sons Battle in Court Over Her Hand-Written Wills

Aretha Franklin's Sons Battle in Court Over Her Hand-Written Wills
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By    |   Wednesday, 07 August 2019 09:48 AM

The battle for Aretha Franklin's multimillion-dollar estate has turned heated as two of her sons took the dispute to court Tuesday, where a judge will consider the legitimacy of a series of handwritten wills discovered earlier this year.

It was initially thought there was no will in place when the Queen of Soul died in August 2018, which meant her assets and income would have been evenly divided among her sons.

The estate, whose value has not been disclosed, was placed in the hands of Aretha's niece, Sabrina Owens, but this was upended upon discovery of the hand-scrawled wills, The New York Times reported.

Aretha's sons are now battling over who be named as co-executor of the will.

In the contentious court hearing Tuesday a judge placed the estate’s administration under court supervision, according to USA Today.  Now the court will be heavily involved in many major decision concerning the estate.

One of the handwritten wills included Aretha’s son, Theodore White II, and Owens. However, their names were crossed out and a separate handwritten 2014 document instead indicated that Aretha wanted to split her estate between her sons, with her son Kecalf Franklin listed as executor of the will.

White, who has been managing his mother's estate since her death, said in a court filing that he and Owens be named co-executor, Fox Business reported.

In most states the handwritten wills would not hold up in court however, they may be valid under the law of Michigan.

It is not clear why Aretha chose to write her own wills, which were found locked under the sofa cushions of her Detroit home, or why she told no one.

David J. Bennett, who served as Aretha's longtime lawyer and who has been representing the estate, told the Times he had urged her to put an official will in place on several occasions.

"I voluntarily wrote wills and trusts in preparation for a talking point with Aretha," Bennett said. “The terms were mine with general concepts regarding her after we had general conversations. We never got further than that."

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The battle for Aretha Franklin's multimillion-dollar estate has turned heated as two of her sons took the dispute to court Tuesday, where a judge will consider the legitimacy of a series of handwritten wills discovered earlier this year.It was initially thought there was no...
aretha franklin, wills, battle, sons
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2019-48-07
Wednesday, 07 August 2019 09:48 AM
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