(New York) A handwritten document found under a sofa cushion at Aretha Franklin’s house constitutes a valid will, the jury of a US court seized on Tuesday ruled to settle a dispute between the children of the “Queen of Soul”, who died in 2018, according to American media.
The legendary American singer, who died on August 16, 2018 in her hometown of Detroit, did not leave an official will, but hand-scribbled documents later discovered at her home fueled years of conflict between her four son.
The documents, which are difficult to read, seem to share his property, in particular real estate, but also jewelry, furs, stereo equipment and musical rights.
One, dated 2010, was discovered in a locked cupboard. Another, dated 2014, had been found… under the sofa cushions.
Two of his sons, Edward and Kecalf Franklin, favored the 2014 document.
Another, Ted White Jr, claims the 2010 document in the cabinet is more legit.
Both wills seem to indicate an equal distribution of copyright between these three sons.
According to the New York Times, Clarence Franklin, the singer’s first child, suffers from mental health issues and is living under legal guardianship, with his brothers pledged to support him.
The decision of the jury, composed of six people, is particularly favorable to Kecalf Franklin and his children, who should inherit the main residence of the singer, a mansion located in an affluent suburb of Detroit.
They should also inherit their mother’s cars.
The lawsuit focused on the signature of the 2014 document, which read “A. Franklin”, with a small smiley face design in the first initial, which Kecalf Franklin said was “characteristic” of the his mother’s handwriting.
The jury delivered its decision after an hour of deliberation, ending a two-day trial. For years, managers of Aretha Franklin’s estate settled debts and paid back taxes, while generating rights to her music.
The “Queen of Soul” died at age 76 on August 16, 2018 in Detroit from pancreatic cancer, following a six-decade career that made her one of America’s most respected entertainers. United.
Unforgettable interpreter of Respect, the diva was also a figure in the struggle for the civil rights of black Americans, who had sung at the funeral of Martin Luther King, in 1968.