A Michigan jury was convened on Monday to decide if the will is legitimate in the case.
The panel was picked to preside over the Oakland County Probate Court trial between the Queen of Soul’s sons Kecalf and Edward Franklin and their brother Ted White II, alias Teddy Richards, who wants a handwritten document from 2010 to be respected instead of the 2014 document.
The older paper was located in a cupboard while the subsequent one was uncovered from a couch in the “Respect” singer’s suburban Detroit home in 2019.
On Monday, Judge Jennifer Callaghan clarified the jury’s task by limiting the panel’s finding to the legality of the 2014 paperwork, which struck out Ted’s designation as the estate’s executor and substituted Kecalf’s name.
According to all versions of the will, Kecalf and his children would be entitled to the Bloomfield Hills residence of the legendary singer. When Franklin passed away in 2018, the mansion was worth $1.1 million, but it is now worth considerably more.
2010 will also stipulate that Kecalf and Edward “must take business classes and get a certificate or degree” before they could profit from their mother’s wealth. Sabrina Owens, a niece of the brothers, was to serve as a co-executor. This condition was not mentioned in the 2014 edition.
While the estate dispute has been going on since 2018, her music royalties don’t seem to be a point of contention since both papers seem to imply that all of the boys would be entitled to a portion of the proceeds from music and copyrights.
Clarence Franklin, the soul singer’s oldest son and someone,not a party to the lawsuit and under guardianship, was also specifically mentioned in both forms as needing regular maintenance.
The sons of the musical icon are arguing over which handwritten will should be recognized as legal.
She discovered one handwritten will from 2010 in a cupboard and another from 2014 stuffed between the cushions of her couch.
The more recent paper recommended either auctioning off or donating Franklin’s collection of dresses to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
The “I Say a Little Prayer” singer, whose estimated estate was worth $80 million when she passed away at age 76 of pancreatic disease, did not leave a written will for her inheritance.
According to a BBC story, the value of the estate has subsequently been significantly lowered to less than $6 million due to years of unpaid taxes on the estate.
The estate had $3.9 million in revenue as of March, but it also reported spending at almost the same amount, including over $1 million in legal bills from several law firms.
When the crooner passed away in 2018, no formal will be left behind.The cash and real properties in the Michael Ochs Archives Assets were judged to be worth $4.1 million, but that sum excludes the value of Aretha Franklin’s songs and other intellectual property, which was given a placeholder value of only $1.