Aretha Franklin’s Last Will
Aretha Franklin, the legendary American singer and songwriter, passed away in August 2018. Following her death, her last will and testament was made public.
According to her Will, Franklin’s estate, which was estimated to be worth around $80 million, was to be divided among her four sons: Clarence, Edward, Ted White Jr., and Kecalf Franklin. The will also named her niece, Sabrina Owens, as the personal representative of her estate.
However, despite the clear instructions in her will, there were some legal disputes over the handling of her estate. In 2019, it was reported that three handwritten wills were discovered in Franklin’s home, which raised questions about the validity of her Last Will.
Two of the handwritten Wills were found in a locked cabinet and were dated from 2010. These Wills reportedly designated different personal representatives and divided her estate in different ways than her original document. The third handwritten Will was reportedly discovered under a sofa cushion and was dated from 2014.
Ultimately, the court ruled that the 2014 handwritten Will was the valid one, and it was upheld as the final document governing Franklin’s estate. The 2014 Will was very similar to her original Will, leaving her estate to her four sons, with Owens serving as the personal representative.
The legal dispute over Franklin’s estate highlighted the importance of having a clear and comprehensive estate plan, as well as ensuring that any updates or changes to the plan are properly documented and executed. This is another example of a kerfuffle of an unclear estate plan. One Last Will and Testament, clearly outlined to the person’s Executor, is all that is necessary. This has happened with other celebrities, making one Will than another after that, and being unclear as to which one is the true legal document. One is enough.
You can read all about it here: Aretha Franklin’s multiple Wills