Aretha Franklin will not leave, so the family has work to do, say lawyers



Singer Aretha Franklin, dies at 76

‘Queen of Soul’ goes away after the battle with the cancer on the pancreas; Fox News looks back at the life and legacy of the music legend.

If Aretha Franklin’s family members moved from Friday is the funeral, in Detroit, they had the task of distributing the Queen of the Souls of the assets, if they do not leave.

Four of her sons and other family members are confronted with a process that can take years and will most likely play in public.

“I tried to convince her that they should do, not just any, but a trust, while she was still alive,” says Don Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer who worked on entertainment matters for Franklin for almost 30 years. “She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do.” She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something they got it.”

“She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do.” She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something they got it.”

– Don Wilson, a lawyer for Aretha Franklin

Franklin’s sons submitted a document a few days after her death, with the list itself, as an interested party in the estate, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“I just hope that (Franklin’s estate) eventually makes it not so hotly contested,” Wilson told the Free Press. “Every time they leave no trust or will there always ends in a fight.”

The legendary singer died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.

Franklin’s legacy is estimated to be approximately $80 million, according to

She was not married, and had four sons, at the age of 48 to 63: Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Kecalf Franklin and Ted White Jr.

Clarence Franklin ‘ s oldest, is unable to work and is represented by a guardian. A niece of Franklin has accepted the role of executor.

Under Michigan law, as in most states, the children will equally divide their mother’s assets in the absence of a will, and so far no signs of a conflict to arise between family members.

David J. Bennett, a lawyer who worked for Franklin did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Among Franklin’s more the tangible fixed assets are various pieces of property in the Detroit area according to the tax assessors’ estimates of a value of at least $2 million, with a market value that can easily be twice that.

After the value is established — a process that can take years — the IRS will take back taxes Franklin is owed, then the tax on her estate at 40 percent for all assets over $11.2 million.

Wilson, her entertainment lawyer, says that she would not have wanted to see her finance public broadcast: “She was a private person.”

Why have some customers not make a will, Laura Zwicker, an attorney who specializes in estate planning, but is not connected with the Franklin estate, says she sees it happen all too often.

Some heirs, like Franklin, son of Clarence, perhaps more than others, and that can be a difficult and delicate decision for a parent, Zwicker said.

“A scheme can be appropriate for a child, where other people need more help,” Zwicker said. “To accept that and put it on paper can be difficult for a parent.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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