Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin did not leave a will. According to The Guardian, the estate of the music icon, who died in August at the age of 76, is yet to be estimated. Franklin has four sons and other family members, who are left to find out how much she was worth. The process is expected to take years and is likely to go public. Don Wilson, one of the singer's attorneys, said he urged her repeatedly to draft a will but she kept procrastinating.
"I tried to convince her that she should not do just a will but a trust while she was still alive. She never told me, 'No, I don't want to do one.' "She understood the need. It just didn't seem to be something she got around to," Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer who worked for Franklin for nearly 30 years, said. He said the multiple Grammy-winner would not have wanted to see her finances publicly aired, adding "She was a private person."
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David J Bennett, the lawyer who worked most closely with Franklin, revealed she was unmarried and left four sons, Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Kecalf Franklin and Ted White Jr Clarence, her eldest, is incapacitated and represented by a guardian. A niece has accepted the role of executor.
Under Michigan (her home state) law, as in most states, the sons will equally divide their mother's assets in the absence of a will. No signs of conflict have emerged as of yet.
Bennett filed papers in Michigan's Oakland county court last week. The documents make no mention of the value of Franklin's estate. The estate includes ownership of the songs she wrote, some radio royalties, with several pieces of property that according to tax assessors' estimates are worth at least USD 2 million as tangible assets.