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War: Aretha Franklin's Sons Battle Over Handwritten Wills 5 Years After Her Death

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Source: mega

Jul. 6 2023, Published 8:00 p.m. ET

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Five years after Aretha Franklin died, three of her four sons headed to court to resolve a legal matter over her final wishes, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Franklin's four surviving sons found themselves in a legal stoush when their mother died after battling pancreatic cancer in 2018. As this outlet reported, the iconic singer did not have a formal will at the time of her death.

The Respect singer did, however, have two handwritten wills — one of which was discovered in a couch cushion.

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When Franklin died at age 76, the Queen of Soul did not have a finalized will.

Since 2018, Franklin's family anticipated a legal battle over the massive estate, that in addition to her $80 million fortune, included real estate, jewelry, furs, and future royalties.

On Monday, a trial to determine which of Franklin's two handwritten wills would be used to honor her last wishes was scheduled to begin.

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Under Michigan law, documents that were not finalized but contained an individual's last testaments were permitted to be used as a will.

The lawsuit stated that Franklin's son, Ted White II, believed his mother's 2010 note should be used as guidance on her estate.

On the other hand, Franklin's other sons, Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin, believed a more recent 2014 document should serve as their mother's last legal wishes.

Both documents were found after their mother's death at her Michigan home, where she passed.

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Because it was known that Franklin did not have an official last testament, her niece, Sabrina Owens, was appointed as executor of her estate.

In the Spring of 2019, Owens revealed that a handwritten will, dated 2010, was found in a cabinet at Franklin's home. A second last testament was also discovered in a notebook at the late singer's home, discreetly tucked away under a couch cushion.

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While both wills indicated that all four of Franklin's sons would share income from music and copyrights, the documents differed on who was appointed executors of Franklin's estate.

The 2010 one listed Owens and White as co-executors and contained a clause that Kecalf and Edward "must take business classes and get a certificate or a degree" to benefit from their mother's estate.

The 2014 will replaced Owens with Kecalf as co-executor and contained no mention of business classes, degrees, or certificates.

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