PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) – Three handwritten wills were found in the suburban home of Detroit, Aretha Franklin, months after the death of "Queen of Soul," including one found under cushions in the living room, a Monday lawyer said.
The latest one is dated March 2014 and appears to be giving the assets of the famous singer to members of the family. Some writing is very difficult to interpret, however, and the four pages have words scratched and phrases in the edges.
Franklin was 76 when he died last August of pancreatic cancer. Solicitors and family members at the time said she had no will, but three versions were discovered earlier in the month. Two from 2010 were found in a locked cupboard after a key was located.
The 2014 version was inside a spiral notebook under cushions, said attorney for Franklin estate, David Bennett.
Bennett, Franklin's solicitor for more than 40 years, filed the wills on Monday. He told a judge he's not sure whether he is legal under Michigan law. A hearing has been arranged for 12 June.
Bennett said that the wills had been shared with four of Franklin's sons or their lawyers, but that no agreement had been made as to whether anyone should be regarded as valid. A statement from the estate said that two sons were opposed to the wills.
Sabrina Owens, an administrator at the University of Michigan, will continue to serve as the estate's personal representative.
“We continue to be neutral and wish all parties involved to make informed choices on behalf of their mother, rich heritage, family and Aretha Franklin estate,” he said.
In a separate court file, Kecalf Franklin's son said that Aretha Franklin wanted him to serve as a representative of the estate in the will of 2014. He opposed plans to sell a piece of land near Oakland County home for $ 325,000.
In April Judge Jennifer Callaghan approved the employment of experts to evaluate Franklin's assets and personal property, including memorabilia, concert gowns and household goods. The Internal Revenue Service examines many years of Franklin's tax returns, according to the estate. We filed a claim in December for more than $ 6 million in taxes.
Meanwhile, Franklin's star has not faded since her death. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in April, named after a death for her amazing career. The 1972 concert film, “Amazing Grace”, was released with much praise from the judges.
The estate is about “many projects that continue … including various TV and film offers, as well as dealing with various creditor claims and resulting litigation,” Bennett said.
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