Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin May Have Left Behind a Will After All

Aretha Franklin in 2008
Aretha Franklin in 2008
Photo: Associated Press

It seems the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, had a will after allmaybe even three.

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A personal representative for her estate found three handwritten wills inside the singer’s home earlier this month, CNN reports.

The documents are dated June 21, 2010, October 20, 2010, and March 31, 2014, according to the report. They were found throughout Franklin’s home, including under couch cushions and in a locked cabinet for which the key was recently located, according to the Associated Press.

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The June 2010 will makes references to Franklin having high blood pressure as well as a tumor on her pancreas, according to CNN. Franklin died of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16, 2018.

At the time of her death, Franklin’s lawyers and family said she had no will.

An attorney for Franklin’s estate, David Bennett, told the AP it was not certain that any of the handwritten documents are acceptable under Michigan law.

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In addition, CNN reports that two of Franklin’s four sons are contesting the newly found wills.

And while the 2014 version appears to bequeath her assets to family members, the AP also reports that the writing is hard to decipher.

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In any case, it seems this matter will definitely land her family in court to determine if one or more of the wills are admissible.

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As Sabrina Owens, the personal representative for the Franklin estate— and the one who found the willsoffered in a statement:

“As this new development is also a family matter, [Owens] 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.”

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When it comes to death, family and funds, things can definitely get ugly. Here’s hoping for all involved’s sake that wisdom, compassion and love will rule the day as the Franklin family sorts all of this out.

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DISCUSSION

Under the couch cushions in the living room, just like your grandmother.

This has been front-page news up here. lol Here’s my favorite exceprts:

The documents show that the singer did give extensive thought to her posthumous financial matters — albeit in her own idiosyncratic, sometimes haphazard way. At times affectionate, at times catty, they’re a peek into Franklin’s carefully secluded private world.

Franklin takes jabs at various lawyers and other professionals who worked for her. They include a Southfield accountant she claims “cost me roughly $90,000 by not reminding me I had only partially paid taxes for the year 2008.” In the 2010 will, she describes one lawyer as “my primary but grossly inefficient attorney.”

Go off, Ree Ree. Go off!

BTW, we find out that she explicitly left most of her valuable things to her four sons, seperating out one for special care as he has special needs. Michigan is a state where a written and signed will is admissible in probate court, so this shouldn’t be that messing in the end.

We also find out that the father of her first son is in fact the father of her second son. The father of her first son had largely been attributed to someone else.

She names Edward Jordan Sr. as the father of her eldest son, Clarence, born when she was 12. Jordan was already publicly known as the father of the singer’s second son, Edward Franklin, born two years later. But Clarence’s father has typically been cited by biographers and others as a schoolmate named Donald Burke.

In the 2010 will, Franklin declares that Jordan is to “never receive or handle any money or property belonging to Clarence.”

“He has never made any contribution to (Clarence’s) welfare, future or past,” Franklin writes, underlining “never” for emphasis.