Aretha Franklin: a will found in a sofa

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This new will from 2014 allows Aretha Franklin’s sons to obtain real estate.

A judge awarded the singer’s real estate to Aretha Franklin’s sons after reviewing a 2014 handwritten will found between sofa cushions, reports theAssociated Press.

The new ruling comes four months after a jury found the document to be valid, although difficult to read. The will was signed with the letter โ€œ HAS ยป and a smiling face. This manuscript replaces a 2010 will found in 2019.

This is a major victory for Franklin’s youngest son, Kecalf, who had argued for the validity of the document because it appeared to suggest that the Queen of Soul (who did not leave a formal will) wanted him to take control of his estate.

Kecalf had the support of his brother and Franklin’s second eldest son, Edward. However, they faced opposition from Franklin’s third son, Ted White, as well as the guardian of his eldest son, Clarence, who has special needs.

Kecalf will inherit a $1.1 million property in suburban Detroit, while Ted White II received another home sold by the estate for $300,000 before the wills emerged. Edward was also granted a separate property through the 2014 will.

The document discovered in a couch (dated 2014) was one of two documents found in Franklin’s home in 2019, along with another 11-page document dated 2010. While all of Franklin’s sons agreed that the document from 2010 was a valid will, a contentious legal battle erupted over whether Franklin had actually signed the 2014 document, thereby validating it to supersede the 2010 one.

Although both documents seemed to indicate that Aretha Franklin wanted her four sons to share income from her music and royalties, there were very different stipulations. In the 2014 document, Franklin appeared to bequeath the $1.1 million home to Kecalf, while the 2010 will divided Franklin’s assets more evenly among his heirs.

Additionally, the 2010 document included certain conditions for Kecalf and Edward if they wanted to take control of the Franklin estate: they ” must take business courses and obtain a certificate or diploma ” Franklin wrote at the time, conditions she did not include in the 2014 document.

Aretha Franklin owned a total of four homes. She died in 2018 from pancreatic cancer.

Staff

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