Aretha Franklin, who passed away last Thursday in her hometown of #Detroit, left behind an 80 million dollar estate with no one appointed over it after her death.
In the state of #Michigan, the assets of an unmarried, deceased person are divided equally among their children. However, others such as creditors or extended family members, could contest the estate to receive a share. According to the Detroit Free Press, Franklin’s four sons filed a document on Tuesday listing themselves as interested parties in her estate. Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece, has requested to be the personal representative of the estate.
⠀The absence of a will means that Franklin’s finances will become public. Her entertainment lawyer, Don Wilson, said that he repeatedly asked her to put together a trust.
“I was after her for a number of years to do a trust,” he said. “It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate, and kept things private.” Franklin was known to be an extremely private person.
In regards to Aretha’s music, Wilson said he would have helped Franklin manage her holdings in music publishing and copyright issues for estate planning. He also stated that, “at this point, it’s impossible to place a dollar value on her song catalog,” but noted that Franklin kept ownership of her original compositions. Thank goodness!
Nobody likes to think about #Wills and #EstatePlanning because who wants to think about themselves dying and what happens afterward, but it is important. These situations can get pretty messy when money is involved so let’s hope the Franklin family and everyone involved comes together and does what’s right in honor of Aretha!