Aretha Franklin died without having a will or a trust and her four sons have filed paperwork that lists them as “interested parties” on her $80 million net worth, according to CNN.
Under Michigan law, Franklin’s assets will be divided equally among her four sons because she did not have a will and was unmarried. Her niece has requested the court to appoint her as a personal representative of her estate, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Franklin’s lawyer, Don Wilson, who’s represented her for almost 30 years, told the Free Press that he asked Franklin to create a trust, but she never did it.
“I was after her for a number of years to do a trust,” Wilson said. “It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate and kept things private.”
“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.”
The legendary soul singer died on Thursday from pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
A public memorial for the “Queen of Soul” will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29.
A private funeral for close family and friends will be held on Aug. 31 at Greater Grace Temple.
What's Your Reaction?
Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.