Aretha Franklin: Three different handwritten wills are found at Queen of Soul's home

23 May 2019, 11:50 | Updated: 23 May 2019, 12:51

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Three handwritten wills have been discovered at the home of Aretha Franklin, several months after she passed away.

Aretha Franklin died from pancreatic cancer in August, and family members said she had left no will at the time.

However, three documents were found in May. Two were written in 2010 and were found in a locked cabinet, after a key was finally found.

A third, dated March 2014, was also hidden under living room cushions, the lawyer for the singer's estate explained.

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The will, which was written inside a notebook, is said to have left her assets to her family, lawyer David Bennett said.

While much of the writing is difficult to make out, the four pages also have words scratched out and phrases written inside the margins.

Bennett, who served as Franklin's lawyer for over 40 years, officially filed the wills on Monday. However, he told a judge that he's not sure if they can be legal under Michigan law.

Aretha Franklin with her former husband Glynn and son Kelf in 1978
Aretha Franklin with her former husband Glynn and son Kelf in 1978. Picture: Getty

He said that the wills had been shared with Franklin's four sons and their lawyers, but they had not agreed a deal on if any of them should be taken as valid.

Two of the songs have objected to the wills, a statement from the Franklin estate said.

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Aretha Franklin was one of the most successful and popular singers of the 1960s and 1970s, and had a resurgence in popularity in the late 1980s.

She was recently honoured with a posthumous Pulitzer Prize, while previously unseen 1972 movie of her classic gospel album Amazing Grace has reached cinemas.