Jury Validates Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Will Found In Couch



A jury found Tuesday that a handwritten will found in Aretha Franklin’s couch cushions is valid in Michigan and will ultimately override another one found over a decade ago, Fox Business reports.

RELATED: The Handwritten Will In The Couch: Aretha Franklin’s Sons Continue To Fight Over Singer’s Last Wishes

News Comes As A Victory For Aretha’s Sons, Kecalf And Edward Franklin

The jury deliberated for less than an hour after a brief trial that began Monday, per the Associated Press.

The handwritten will was reportedly conceived in 2014, four years after an earlier will was found locked in a cabinet in 2010. The “Respect” singer ultimately died without a formal will, the outlet reports.

The news is a victory for two of Aretha’s other sons, Kecalf and Edward Franklin. Their attorney had argued that handwritten papers dated 2014 should override the 2010 will, regardless of how it was written or where it was found.

“You can take your will and leave it on the kitchen counter. It’s still your will,” said lawyer Charles McKelvie, who represented Kecalf and Edward Franklin.

Lawyer Craig Smith added: “Says right here: ‘This is my will,” regarding the 2014 document. “She’s speaking from the grave, folks.”

Aretha Franklin’s grandchildren hugged Kecalf and Edward after the verdict was read.

“I’m very, very happy. I just wanted my mother’s wishes to be adhered to,” Kecalf Franklin said. “We just want to exhale right now. It’s been a long five years for my family, my children.”

Aretha Franklin’s Son Challenges Validity Of Mother’s Handwritten Will After Jury Find In Favor Of It

However, Franklin’s son, Ted White II, claims the 2010 will was notarized and “done conventionally and legally,” according to the outlet. White II explained that this was unlike the informal handwritten will, found years later by Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens.

“With all the time I spent working with her administratively … every other document that she ever signed was something that was done conventionally and legally,” he told the jury through his lawyer.

Owens located the handwritten will while searching her Detroit home after her 2018 death.

Lawyer Representing Other Brothers: ‘Teddy Wants To Disinherit Them, He Wants It All’

But attorneys for Kecalf and Edward Franklin characterized their brother, Teddy, in a different light.

“(Teddy) wants to disinherit his two brothers. Teddy wants it all,” lawyer Craig Smith said during closing arguments Tuesday.

The singer reportedly had a net worth of $80 million when she died. But the estate now has assets totaling less than $6 million, according to a report by the BBC.

Meanwhile, her Bloomfield Hills home, valued at $1.1 million at the time of her death, is reportedly worth much more today, the AP reports.




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