Jury Rules Aretha Franklin Will Found Stuffed in Couch is Totally Legit
Five years after her death, a handwritten document stuffed between couch cushions at Aretha Franklin's home has been ruled a valid Michigan will.
A jury deliberated for less than an hour after a brief trial that began Monday (7/10), pitting two of Franklin's sons against one of their siblings.
Two Handwritten Wills Surfaced
Aretha Franklin had no formalized will on file when she passed away in 2018 at the age of 76.
In 2019, two handwritten documents were found in Franklin's Bloomfield Hills home. Both documents, each containing hard-to-decipher passages, were discovered by a niece who scoured the Queen of Soul's home after her death.
The jury decided that papers dated 2014 and stuffed in between couch cushions should override an older document, a 2010 document that was found in a locked cabinet in her home.
A Victory for Two of Franklin's Sons
The jury's decision is a victory for Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin whose lawyers argued that the wording in the more recent documents should take precedent.
“I’m very, very happy. I just wanted my mother’s wishes to be adhered to,” Kecalf Franklin tells WJBK. “We just want to exhale right now. It’s been a long five years for my family, my children.”
Under the terms of the 2014 will, Kecalf Franklin and his children would get his mother's main home in Bloomfield Hills, valued at just over $1 million at the time of her death.
Another Brother Disagrees
An attorney who argued on behalf of another of Franklin's sons, Ted White II, said the 2010 document which was found under lock and key should override the singer's later-penned document.
That document stated that the aforementioned brothers would need to take business classes and get a certificate or degree in order to benefit from their mother's estate. Their lawyer told the jury that White "wants to disinherit his two brothers."