Aretha Franklin died without an estate plan
Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, 2018. A recent story online about her death suggests that she died without a will or a trust. This happened despite her lawyer, Don Wilson, telling her many times over the years to prepare a trust. Mr. Wilson was her attorney for copyright and publishing matters and record deals. As a result, he may likely be involved with her estate.
The value of her estate is unknown. One source puts it at $80 million. She also probably had investments and interests in real estate and other businesses. As a result of her estate administration having to pass through a Court process, her finances will become public. Publishing rights and future earnings will also likely form part of her estate.
What may happen with Aretha Franklin’s estate
According to Michigan Law, if an unmarried person dies without a Will (intestate), then his or her children share in the assets equally.
Aretha Franklin’s sons, Clarence, Edward, Kecalf, and Ted White Jr. have filed documents in Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan. Furthermore, they have listed themselves as interested parties. Sabrina Owens (a niece) will also likely be appointed to be the estate’s personal representative. The funeral will take place on August 31, 2018 in Detroit.
This will be a very interesting story to follow. Aretha Franklin’s attorney has stated that he hopes that the estate does not become hotly contested. Unfortunately, there are many examples where a superstar’s estate becomes the subject of an estate dispute among potential beneficiaries. One prime example is the estate dispute that followed the death of Prince who also died without a will. His death on April 21, 2016 was followed by a lengthy dispute among many beneficiaries.
This matter is still very recent. It will be very unfortunate if the beneficiaries start fighting. Hopefully, everyone involved will work together and avoid tarnishing the Queen of Soul’s brilliant legacy.
More on this story here.