Aretha Franklin died last week from advanced pancreatic cancer, but she reportedly left behind a whole lot of family drama.
The Queen of Soul made perfect music. She had a perfect voice. But she apparently made one mistake… she didn’t have a will or a trust!
Franklin left behind an estate worth around $80 million dollars and that means there are at least $80 million reasons for her family members to act a fool.
When the legendary singer died, she did not have a will or trust.
According to CNN, Franklin’s four sons have filed a document listing themselves as interested parties.
Franklin’s lawyer, Los Angeles attorney Don Wilson, represented her in entertainment matters for nearly three decades, and he recently told the paper that he constantly asked her to do a trust, but she never got around to it.
I was after her for a number of years to do a trust.
It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate and kept things private.
Wilson is Franklin’s attorney in copyright matters, song publishing and record deals, and will be consulted on estate planning purposes. He said while he doesn’t have a dollar figure on the value of her assets, the lack of a will means the finances will become public in Oakland County Probate Court.
“I just hope (Franklin’s estate) doesn’t end up getting so hotly contested,” Wilson said. “Any time they don’t leave a trust or will, there always ends up being a fight.”
Franklin hasn’t even been buried yet and the family is already feuding.
In addition to her sons’ filing, Franklin’s niece has asked the court to appoint her as a personal representative of the estate.
Franklin’s funeral will be held on August 31 in Detroit, with the service for family and friends planned for 10 a.m. ET the same day. Public viewings will be held August 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
It said under Michigan law, if an unmarried person dies without a will, his or her assets are divided equally among any children.
“Under Michigan law, they should split the multimillion-dollar estate.
However, because Aretha Franklin didn’t have any real planning for this situation they might end up missing out on a lot of her fortune if creditors and or lawyers making claims get involved.”
In comparison, Prince also decided to not create a will for his fortune and his assets are still being discussed in court.