Update: Aretha Franklin’s Sons Awarded Her Real Estate After Will Found In Couch Cushions Ruled Valid

Aretha Franklin

Update: Aretha Franklin’s Sons Awarded Her Real Estate After Will Found In Couch Cushions Ruled Valid

Update: (Nov. 29, 2023): Aretha Franklin’s properties have officially been divided between her sons.

As previously reported, in July a judge ruled that a 2014 handwritten will, which was found between Aretha Franklin’s couch cushions, was a valid legal document. At the time, the late singer’s children had been disputing between the letter and another note written in 2010. Reportedly, sons Kecalf Franklin,53, and Edward Franklin, 66, were in favor of the 2014 contract while Ted White II, 59, believed that they should follow the demands of the 2010 paper.

On Monday (Nov. 27) the brothers finally learned from a judge which of their mother’s properties they were awarded. According to reports, Kecalf received a Detroit home, which was allegedly valued at $1.1 million in 2018, and the “Respect” singer’s “crown jewel.” Edward also received a home and Ted was awarded a house that his mother’s estate previously sold for $300,000. His lawyer said,

“Teddy is requesting the sale proceeds.”

There’s a fourth home Aretha Franklin owned, however, the residence will be sold and the brothers — including the oldest, Clarence Franklin, 68, who lives under legal guardianship — are expected to split the profits.


Original Story: (Jul. 11, 2023):  Looks like Aretha Franklin’s sons have settled on which version of their mother’s will is valid following the singer’s 2018 death.

According to reports, today (July 11) a jury ruled that a 2014 handwritten will found between Aretha Franklin’s couch cushions is a valid legal document. The ruling, which was held in a Michigan court, comes years after the Queen of Soul’s four sons have been battling over who will govern the administration of her estate.

Aretha Franklin

Despite years of health issues and attempts to leave a formal will behind prior to Aretha Franklin’s death, two handwritten versions were found by her niece when she searched the singing mogul’s Detroit home in 2019. One document was made in 2010 while the other was from 2014, which caused a dispute between Franklin’s sons due to the drafts being significantly different from one another.

Under the 2014 will, her sons Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin are appointed as executors of her $6 million estate. It appears their brother, “Teddy” AKA Ted White II, who served as executor in the 2010 draft of her will, is crossed out. In addition to that, the 2010 will appeared to include that Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin “must take business classes and get a certificate or a degree” to benefit from the estate, but the 2014 document doesn’t have that requirement.

As previously reported, both wills containing scribbles, scratch-outs, and difficult-to-read parts were found in Franklin’s home after she passed from pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. While Ted White II believed that documents from 2010 should predominately govern his mother’s estate, his brothers Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin were in favor of the 2014 contract. Franklin said in both documents that Clarence, the oldest son who is under guardianship, must get regular assistance.

Aretha Franklin

Charles McKelvie, a lawyer for Kecalf Franklin said,

“Two inconsistent wills cannot both be admitted to probate. In such cases the most recent will revokes the previous will.”


What are your thoughts on the entire situation? Let us know in the comments below!

[Sources: 1, 2]

Authored by: Ariel Whitely