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Who Inherited Aretha Franklin’s Money After She Died
By WENDY MEAD
History - Science
On August 16, 2018, the legendary “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, died from pancreatic cancer, leaving behind $18 to $30 million. At first it seemed that she had left no will and that her estate would be evenly divided among her four sons (according to Michigan law), but soon a series of handwritten documents started to surface.
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A total of three different wills were found at Franklin’s home, with the latest, dated March 2014, giving a greater share of the estate to her youngest son, Kecalf, and less to her eldest son, Clarence. However, the hard-to-interpret handwriting of these documents has contributed to a bitter inheritance battle between the Franklin children, leading Sabrina Owens (Franklin’s niece) to resign her post as the estate’s executor.
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In March 2021, the draft of a fourth will from 2018 was discovered in the office of a lawyer who had been working with Franklin on estate planning. This will expressed Franklin’s intent to create a trust for Clarence and split the remaining assets between her other sons — Edward, Kecalf, and Ted White Jr. — but it will be up to the court to decide if this unsigned document is acceptable.
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