Aretha Franklin Will Found In Couch Is Valid – US Jury Rules

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A US jury has ruled that a handwritten document which was found in Aretha Franklin’s couch cushion, determining the wishes of the late music icon, is a valid will.

These papers appear to evenly distribute assest among her family members, including her four sons. Such assests include jewellery, furs, stereo equipment, real estate, and music royalties.

A dispute between Franklin’s four sons has been ongoing for years, after two sets of documents were discovered at her home, one in 2010 and the other in 2014.

While she left no formal will of her own, one of them was found in Aretha Franklin’s cabinet in 2010, with the other discovered under the cushions four years later.

While both wills appear to illustrate an equal share in the assests, the 2014 version was favoured by Aretha Franklin’s sons Kecalf and Edward, with Ted White Jr favouring the 2010 document.

It was also reported that Aretha’s other son Clarence Franklin, has a mental illness, and is living with a court-appointed guardian, with Kecalf, Edward, and Ted Jr agreeing to support him.

“A. Franklin”

However in the latest ruling from a Michigan jury, the court found in favour of Kecalf Franklin and his children, after they ruled a signature which was found on the document ‘A.Franklin’, which included a smiley face, to be significant.

Kecalf Franklin testified to the jury that the smiley face was a characteristic of his late mother’s handwriting.

His family are now set to be awarded his late mother’s mansion in an affluent Detroit suburb. The family also stand to inherit the late singers’ cars.

The jury took approximately an hour to reach their verdict, closing a trial which ran for two days.

Aretha Franklin passed away from pancreatic cancer on 18 August 2018. She is one of several stars to have passed away without leaving a formal will, including Prince, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson.

For years, her estate have been paying back taxes, and settling debts, along with generating royalties off music and intellectual property.

In September 2021, Franklin’s 1967 hit ‘Respect’ was also crowned number one on the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list, according to Rolling Stone. 

Check out that track here.