As Aretha Franklin’s sons battled in court over her $6 million estate, a jury decided a handwritten document found hidden in the late music legend’s sofa is a legal will in Michigan.
According to the Associated Press, Tuesday’s verdict was a victory for Franklin’s sons Edward and Kecalf. Attorneys for the two argued that the document written in 2014 should be recognized instead of a 2010 will discovered at the Grammy-winning singer’s home in Detroit.
The older will required Kecalf, 53, and Edward Franklin, 64, to “take business classes and get a certificate or a degree” to receive an inheritance.
That line was removed from the 2014 version
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“I’m very, very happy. I just wanted my mother’s wishes to be adhered to,” Kecalf Franklin told reporters. “We just want to exhale right now. It’s been a long five years for my family, my children.”
Franklin’s ‘s son Ted White II, had fought for the court to recognize the 2010 will, which listed him as one of the executors of the estate.
Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and the co-executor of her estate, found both documents in 2019, while searching Franklin’s home for records after the singer’s death.
Both documents were handwritten. The 2010 will had been notarized and included Franklin’s signature on every page, Entertainment Weekly reported. The other will was found hidden in a spiral notebook under a sofa cushion, and had a smiley face next to Franklin’s signature.
The music legend died on Aug. 16, 2018, after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
The singer, songwriter and civil rights activist’s estate was valued at $80 million when she passed away, but the amount has since fallen to $6 million because of unpaid taxes.
Over her lifetime, Franklin won a string of music honors including six AMAs and 18 Grammy Awards.
Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Will Found Valid by Jury
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