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Battle over Aretha’s will begins: Jury to decide whether handwritten document will be accepted at trial

A family of legendary musicians Aretha Franklin was in Michigan The court on Monday begins a trial to decide whether the notes crammed into the sofa are considered her suicide note.

The Memphis-born Queen of Soul died in August 2018 at the age of 76.

She left no formal typed will, and after her death the family is divided over which of two potential wills was correct.

Franklin had four sons. Clarence was born when he was 12 years old. Edward was born to the same father as her when Clarence was 15 years old. Ted was born in February 1964 to Franklin and her husband Theodore ‘Ted’ White. And Kecalf Cunningham was born in April 1970 and her father was Ken Cunningham, her road manager.

In 2010, Franklin signed a document naming his son Ted, 60, as the property manager.

But in 2019, a handwritten version from 2014 was found crammed into the couch, with Ted’s name crossed out and Kecalf’s name inserted as executor. The document will allow Kecalf to inherit his home in Bloomfield Hills, a wealthy suburb north of Detroit.

Aretha Franklin was photographed performing at the 85th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange in December 2008. Two of her four sons are currently arguing over her will.

Defendant Kecalf Franklin, 53, seen in court on Monday

Ted White, 60, insists his mother's 2010 will is the correct document

Kecalf Franklin, 53, left, and his brother Ted White, 60, right, argue over their mother’s will.

Ted and Kecalf are now in court to decide who will be the enforcers, and the trial is expected to last two days.

What’s at stake is that her assets remain remarkably under-managed, considering she’s been performing since she was 12 and signed to Columbia Records at 18.

According to its last public accounts filed in March, the foundation has earned $3.9 million in revenue over the past 12 months, with expenditures of the same amount including more than $900,000 in litigation costs against various companies. It was revealed.

Total assets were $4.1 million, mostly cash and real estate.

Franklin’s creative work and intellectual property were undervalued, with a nominal value of only $1.

Ted, who played guitar while his mother performed, said in court on Monday that he believed the 2010 document was the only legitimate document.

“All the time I spent working with her on administrative matters, all other documents she ever signed were customary and lawful,” he said to the jury. told the staff.

Aretha Franklin attends the 1978 Hollywood Christmas Parade with her second husband Glynn Turman, son Kecalf Cunningham, stepson and stepdaughter Stephanie Turman.

Aretha Franklin attends the 1978 Hollywood Christmas Parade with her second husband Glynn Turman, son Kecalf Cunningham, stepson and stepdaughter Stephanie Turman.

Aretha Franklin, March 2014, left to right: Clifton Davis, Clive Davis, son Kecalf Franklin

Aretha Franklin, March 2014, left to right: Clifton Davis, Clive Davis, son Kecalf Franklin

Franklin pictured with boyfriend William Wilkerson (left) and son Edward Franklin (right) in 2014

Franklin pictured with boyfriend William Wilkerson (left) and son Edward Franklin (right) in 2014

However, she acknowledged that the 2010 suicide note, which was found at the same time in 2019, was also written by her mother.

While there are discrepancies between documents, both the 2010 and 2014 documents appear to indicate that Franklin’s four sons share income from music and copyright.

Four large posters showing pages from the 2014 document were presented to the jury.

In that version, Kecalf Franklin and his grandchildren would get their mother’s main residence in Bloomfield Hills, which was valued at $1.1 million when she died and is now well over that. worth it.

Kecalf Franklin, 53, told the court that he didn’t think it was unusual for important documents like wills to be found in the living room.

Aretha Franklin's sons Kecalf Franklin (rear) hug Edward Franklin after a ceremony to honor his mother in October 2021

Aretha Franklin’s sons Kecalf Franklin (rear) hug Edward Franklin after a ceremony to honor his mother in October 2021

Edward Franklin arrives at hearings on Monday

Edward Franklin arrives at hearings on Monday

Kecalf Franklin to meet attorney Charles McKelvey outside court on Monday

Kecalf Franklin to meet attorney Charles McKelvey outside court on Monday

Asked by his lawyer where his mother read emails, made important calls, signed documents and even slept, Kecalf Franklin repeatedly replied, “On the sofa.”

Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, who managed his estate soon after his death, did not appear in court on Monday, but her testimony was read out at the official press conference.

She explained how she decided to search the Bloomfield Hills home for important records.

“She used the kitchen and living room, that was it,” Owens said.

“So when I got to the sofa, I picked up the rightmost cushion and there were three notebooks.”

A jury will hear closing arguments on Tuesday.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12285001/Battle-Arethas-begins-Jury-seated-trial-decide-handwritten-documents-accepted.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Battle over Aretha’s will begins: Jury to decide whether handwritten document will be accepted at trial

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