Aretha Franklin Left 3 Handwritten Wills, But Will They Hold Up In Court?

Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has passed away at the age of 76. Here is a look back at her iconic life and career. Legendary singer Aretha Franklin reportedly left three handwritten wills in her home in the Detroit Suburbs, after initial reports indicated that she hadn’t made one, but now there are questions about if the documents will be considered legal.

Franklin was 76 when she passed away from cancer last year, and while her personal lawyer said he “was after her for several years” to create a will, it seems she had used advice, though perhaps without telling him. One of the wills was found out under couch cushions, while two were reported to be in a locked cabinet. The vocalist was said to be notoriously private about her finances. Two of the wills were from 2010, as the most recent one is from March 2014. The most recent will cancel the earlier ones typically.

New York lawyer Natalie Elisha Gold told FOX Business a handwritten will is typically referred to as a holographic and it is allowable in a few states. On Monday An attorney for Franklin filed the three documents in court. However, based on the estate, two of Franklin’s four sons object to the wills. That’s another factor that might suggest Franklin’s will may not endure. “Had Aretha taken the steps to have an attorney preside over her will, it is likely she would have had more posthumous control of her affairs,” Gold said.

As previously reported by FOX Business, with out a plan set up, Franklin’s property would be distributed in probate court by a process known as intestate succession. While the statutory laws in every state are different about the division of assets, usually – without legal documents – a portion of the deceased’s possessions are divided similarly among children, while some generally visit a partner. The continuing state where the loss of life happened will have jurisdiction over who gets what. Unsurprisingly, it’s not necessarily clear cut.

“It gets a lot more complicated if you have things like a plantation or a family vacation house. Or if you have a music and publishing rights, as in the entire case of Aretha Franklin,” Dave Hanley, CEO and founder of the will and trust-creation application Tomorrow, told FOX Business. For the average individual, intestate succession can end up priced at more because the process has to feel the courtroom system.

“It’s not about conserving taxes, but it is approximately saving cash,” Amy Joyce, partner at Margolin, Winer & Evens, previously told FOX Business. Experts told FOX Business people should create wills when they become legal adults, updating them throughout their lives. A will does not go into effect until a person dies.

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