What Do Aretha Franklin's Handwritten Wills Say?

By Inside Edition Staff
Copyright (c) 2019 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The discovery of three handwritten wills by Aretha Franklin has many wondering whether they will stand up in court. 

Franklin, who was 76 when she died on Aug. 16 after a battle with cancer, apparently hid three separate documents around her Michigan home, including under a sofa cushion and in a locked cabinet. When Franklin died it was believed she had no will. 

Two are dated from 2010, while the most recent is from March 2014, when she updated the will declaring furs and jewelry to be equally distributed and passed on to her granddaughters. In some cases, the writing is difficult to read and certain portions are scratched out, with additional notes in the margins. 

The wills were filed Monday by Franklin's longtime lawyer, David Bennett, according to The Associated Press. Bennett told a judge he's not sure if they are legal under Michigan law. 

Two of Franklin's four children are reportedly disputing the wills, according to a statement from the family. 

A hearing is set for June 12. 

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