HOW SAD! The Fight Over the Talented Aretha Franklin’s WILL Begins Years After Her Death: The jury is seated in trial to decide whether HANDWRITTEN documents stuffed in couch cushions can be accepted as a valid will. Daniel Whyte III quotes Dr. Freddie Haynes and the title of Whyte’s 3-volume novel that he got from a sermon that Dr. Freddie Haynes preached titled: . . . AND FAMILY DRAMA JUST WON’T STOP.
- The Memphis-born ‘Queen of Soul’ died at her Detroit home in August 2018 at the age of 76
- Franklin had four sons: Clarence, born when she was 12; Edward, born when she was 15; Ted, now 60, who served as her backing guitarist; and Kecalf, now 53
- Franklin died without a formal will: on Monday, a trial began to decide whether a 2010 document or a handwritten 2014 version is more legitimate
The family of Aretha Franklin was in a Michigan court on Monday as a trial kicks off to determine if notes stuffed in a couch will be considered her will.
The Memphis-born Queen of Soul died in August 2018 at the age of 76.
She did not leave a formal, typewritten will, and her family has been divided since her death about which of two potential wills was correct.
Franklin had four sons: Clarence, born when she was just 12; Edward, born to the same father as Clarence when she was 15; Ted, born to Franklin and her husband Theodore ‘Ted’ White in February 1964 ; and Kecalf Cunningham, born in April 1970 whose father was her road manager, Ken Cunningham.
In 2010, Franklin signed a document that made her son Ted, 60, the executor of her estate.
But in 2019, a handwritten version from 2014 emerged after it was found stuffed down a couch, in which Ted’s name was crossed out and Kecalf’s name inserted as executor. The doc would allow Kecalf to inherit her home in Bloomfield Hills, an affluent suburb north of Detroit.
Ted and Kecalf are now in court to determine who is the executor, with a trial expected to last two days.
At stake is control of a fortune which, given she performed from the age of 12 and signed with Columbia Records at 18, remains remarkably low.
The last public accounting filed in March showed the estate had an income of $3.9 million during the previous 12-month period and a similar amount of spending, including more than $900,000 in legal fees to various firms.
Overall assets were pegged at $4.1 million, mostly cash and real estate.
Franklin’s creative works and intellectual property were undervalued, with just a nominal $1 figure.
Ted, who played guitar during his mother’s performances, told the court on Monday he believes the 2010 document is the only legitimate one.
‘With all the time I spent working with her administratively, every other document that she ever signed was something that was done conventionally and legally,’ he told the jury.
He acknowledged, however, that the 2010 will found at the same time in 2019 was also written by his mother’s hand.
There are differences between the documents, but both the 2010 and 2014 documents appear to indicate that Franklin’s four sons would share income from music and copyrights.
Four large posters showing pages from the 2014 document were presented to the jury.
Under that version, Kecalf Franklin and her grandchildren would get his mother’s main home in Bloomfield Hills.
Kecalf Franklin, 53, told the court he does not consider it unusual that important papers like a will would be discovered in the living room.
Source: Daily Mail Online, Harriet Alexander
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