Three handwritten wills found in Aretha Franklin's Detroit home months after her death

Three handwritten wills found in Aretha Franklin's Detroit home months after her death

A lawyer for Aretha Franklin has said that they have found three handwritten wills in the late singer's Detroit home. This discovery comes months after the 'Queen of Soul's death on August 28, 2018, due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 76. 

At the time of her death, the lawyers and family members said that she had no will but these three were found last month in her home. Two of the wills are from 2010, locked away in a cabinet.  The wills have been filed on Monday. David Bennett, who has been the family's lawyer for many years told the judge that he is unsure if they would hold under the Michigan law and a hearing for the same has been scheduled on June 12, 2019. 

The latest of the wills has been reported to be from March 2014 in which the singer had left her assets to her family. However, the writings in the will are hard to decipher and the will of four pages has words that have been scratched out in the margins. It is a spiralbound notebook and was found under cushions, the attorney for the Franklin Estate said. 

American soul singer Aretha Franklin, a star on the Atlantic record label. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)


Two of her sons have objected to the wills, the family has said in a statement. Kecalf Cunningham, her son has said in a separate filing that Franklin wanted him to be the representative of the estate in the 2014 will.

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.

The estate is involved in "many continuing projects ... including various television and movie proposals, as well as dealing with various creditor claims and resulting litigation," Bennett said explaining the role of the estate.


While on the one hand, the matter of her will lies pending, on the other, Franklin continues to gain accolades even after her death. Earlier this year, she received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor in April becoming the first individual woman to earn a special citation prize since the honor was first awarded in 1930.

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