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Judge Validates Handwritten Will of Aretha Franklin, Resolving Part of Estate Dispute

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Bijay Laxmi
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Judge Validates Handwritten Will of Aretha Franklin, Resolving Part of Estate Dispute

In a landmark ruling, a handwritten will discovered between couch cushions has been recognized as the final testament of the late soul singer Aretha Franklin. The decision, issued on November 27, is the latest development in a protracted legal battle over the distribution of the singer's estate following her death in August 2018.

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Unraveling the Tapestry of Inheritance

The will, authenticated by a Detroit-area jury four months prior to the ruling, supersedes a 2010 will found within Franklin's residence. Despite its challenging legibility, the 2014 will, complete with Franklin's signature and a smiley face within the letter 'A', was deemed valid under Michigan law. The Queen of Soul, who passed away from pancreatic cancer, had left no clear directive regarding her estate, sparking disputes among her sons.

Division of Estate

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According to the 2014 will, Kecalf Franklin is set to inherit a property previously valued at $1.1 million. Ted White II has been bequeathed a house in Detroit, the sale proceeds of which he is currently requesting. Another property has been awarded to Edward Franklin.

Undecided Property and Music Assets

The disposition of one of Franklin's properties, presently valued above $1 million, is yet to be determined. The property is expected to be sold, with the proceeds to be evenly distributed among her four sons. Furthermore, there remains contention over the management of Franklin's music assets, with the will indicating that income from them would be shared among the sons. A status conference is scheduled for January to further discuss these matters, signaling progress in resolving the estate.

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