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Michigan court rules will found in Aretha Franklin’s couch valid

David Redfern/Redferns

A court in Michigan has reached a decision in the battle over Aretha Franklin’s will. 


At the time of her passing in 2018, Franklin did not have a formal will. But in 2019 her niece discovered two handwritten wills, dated 2014 and 2010, which have been the subject of a dispute between her sons. 

The Associated Press reports a jury has ruled that the 2014 will, which was found in Franklin’s couch, should supersede the one dated 2010. That is good news for her sons Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin, since the 2010 will said the only way they could benefit from the estate was if they “take business classes and get a certificate or a degree.”

The now-valid 2014 will leaves Aretha’s home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which was worth $1.1 million at the time of her death, to Kecalf and any grandchildren.

Franklin’s son Ted White II wanted the court to recognize the 2010 will, with his lawyer arguing that it was more significant because it was found under lock and key, not in a couch. Kecalf and Edward’s lawyer argued that where the will was found was inconsequential.

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