Music

Aretha Franklin’s Will Was Found In A Notebook Underneath A Couch Cushion

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Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin passed away last August. At the time of the Queen of Soul’s death, it was widely reported that she had left no known will. On Monday, that changed.

According to the Associated Press, three hand-written wills were found in the late singer’s home in Pontiac, Michigan. Franklin’s niece and the current representative of her estate, Sabrina Owens, discovered a key to a locked cabinet at Franklin’s home on May 3, according to a court filing. Inside the cabinet were two wills from 2010. One claimed that a will that had been written years prior was “no good.” The other had a notary’s signature.

Owens claims that later that day she discovered a third will scrawled in a notebook that she found underneath the cushions of a living room couch. The third will is allegedly dated March 2014 and the four-page document sets aside various assets for family members, including Franklin’s four sons and grandchildren.

All of Franklin’s assets, including personal belongings, memorabilia, concert gowns and household goods, are currently undergoing a process of appraisal. The Associated Press also reports that the IRS is auditing many years of Franklin’s tax returns and, in December, filed a claim in for more than $6 million in taxes.

If the newly-discovered 2014 will is honored, control of Franklin’s state would be handed over to Franklin’s son Kecalf Franklin. According to the Estate’s lawyer, David Bennett, Kecalf would be in charge of managing the “many continuing projects … including various television and movie proposals, as well as dealing with various creditor claims and resulting litigation.” A hearing to decide on whether or not to honor the new document has been scheduled for June 12.

Franklin died as a result of complications stemming from pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

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