Aretha Franklin's lawyer opens up on why singer left no will for her reported $80 million estate

Cheryl Kahla
Sep 06, 2018
08:30 A.M.
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The legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, passed away without a will to her $80 million estates.


Earlier this week, her lawyer Don Wilson told the press that he had tried throughout the years to convince Franklin to draw up a will and trust.

Wilson believes that she just never got around to it because she never explicitly told him that she doesn't want a will.

"She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to."


Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa.

Without a will, her four sons – Clarence, Edward, Kecalf and Ted White Jr. – will divide her estate up equally among them.

However, the process could take years even when there are no signs of conflict amongst family members.

While she owned most of her songs, royalties of some of her tracks must go towards other writers and performers she collaborated with.


Franklin also owns property in Detroit estimated to be worth $2 million, but the market values of those properties could be more than that.

Due to the absence of a will, the IRS is required by law to conduct an audit.

Franklin lost the battle to pancreatic cancer on August 16. Her body could be viewed at the New Bethel Baptist Church in the days leading up to her funeral service.


The Queen of Soul was dressed in three different outfits throughout the week, and former Bill Clinton said he was glad the casket was still open when he arrived. He explained:

"Because I said, 'I wonder what my friend’s got on today. I wanna see what the girl is carrying out.'"

On a serious note, he also added that he had been a fan of Franklin's since his college days and that she lived her life with courage.

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