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Monday 17 June 2019

Three handwritten wills found in Aretha Franklin’s home

The latest is dated March 2014 and appears to give the Queen of Soul’s assets to family members.

Aretha Franklin (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Aretha Franklin (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

By Ed White, Associated Press

Three handwritten wills have been found in the home of Aretha Franklin, months after the death of the Queen of Soul, including one that was discovered under cushions in the living room, a lawyer said.

The latest is dated March 2014 and appears to give the famous singer’s assets to family members.

Some writing is hard to decipher and the four pages have words scratched out and phrases in the margins.

Franklin was 76 when she died last August of pancreatic cancer.

Lawyers and family members said at the time that she had no will, but three handwritten versions were discovered earlier this month at the home in suburban Detroit.

Two from 2010 were found in a locked cabinet after a key was found.

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One of three handwritten wills that a lawyer said were found in the home of Aretha Franklin (Ed White/AP)

The 2014 version was in a spiral notebook under cushions, said a lawyer for Franklin’s estate, David Bennett.

He filed the wills on Monday and told a judge he is not sure if they are legal under Michigan law. A hearing is scheduled for June 12.

Mr Bennett said the wills were shared with Franklin’s four sons or their lawyers, but that a deal was not reached on whether any should be considered valid. A statement from the estate said two sons object to the wills.

Sabrina Owens, an administrator at the University of Michigan, will continue to serve as personal representative of the estate.

“She remains neutral and wishes that all parties involved make wise choices on behalf of their mother, her rich legacy, the family and the Aretha Franklin estate,” the statement said.

In a separate court filing, son Kecalf Franklin said the star wanted him to serve as representative of the estate in the 2014 will. He is objecting to plans to sell a piece of land next to his mother’s Oakland County home for 325,000 dollars.

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