Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Will Allegedly Reveals Real Dad of Eldest Son

Aretha Franklin apparently had three wills safely hidden in her Detroit home which were discovered months after her death. The 16-page handwritten documents detail instructions about her estate and deliver a surprising revelation about the father of one of her sons.

When Aretha Franklin left this world in August, she left behind four sons and an estate rumored to be deep in tax debt. She had no known will to allocate her estimated $80 million worth of assets. 

THE SINGER LEFT NOT ONE, BUT THREE WILLS

However, recent reports reveal the singer did, in fact, have three handwritten wills tucked safely in her Detroit home and revealed how she wanted her assets to be divided. In a surprising twist, she also reveals the identity of one of her sons' biological father who isn't who everyone thought it was. 

While she led people to believe her son's father is her school mate, Donald Burke, her uncovered wills suggest otherwise.

According to Black America Web, Franklin's alleged wills were discovered on May 3 after the singer’s niece, Sabrina Owens tidied up her place. Two of them were found inside a locked cabinet and one in a spiral notebook under a couch cushion. The first two were dated 2010 while the latter was written in 2014.

Aretha Franklin performing onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation on its  25th Year on November 7, 2017 at the Cathedial of St. John the Divine. | Source: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin performing onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation on its 25th Year on November 7, 2017 at the Cathedial of St. John the Divine. | Source: Getty Images

THE CONTENTS OF THE WILL

Apart from the iconic singer's intentions for her children specified in the 16 pages of handwritten instructions (view a screenshot of one of the pages here), there was a startling revelation on its sixth page, one that identifies her eldest son’s real father. 

Franklin had been very secretive about her children when she was alive. In fact, not many knew that her eldest, Clarence, who she had when she was 12, had special needs. She never publicly disclosed this. And while she led people to believe her son's father is her school mate, Donald Burke, her uncovered wills suggest otherwise.

The only reason Franklin mentions the man in her will is to ensure that he doesn’t receive anything from her estate as Clarence’s father.

Aretha Franklin performing at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on March 5, 2012. | Source: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin performing at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on March 5, 2012. | Source: Getty Images

CLARENCE'S REAL FATHER AND WHY HE WAS MENTIONED IN THE WILL

According to her instructions on page 6, Clarence’s real father is Edward Jordan, Sr., the same man who fathered her second son, Edward who she gave birth to when she was 14. Not much is known about Jordan who was briefly described in the 2014 biography, “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” as a player. 

Franklin states in her will that Jordan was never a part of Clarence’s life with an emphasis on the word “never” which she underlined. The only reason Franklin mentions the man in her will is to ensure that he doesn’t receive anything from her estate as Clarence’s father. Her exact words were:

"His father, Edward Jordan Sr., should never receive or handle any money or property belonging to Clarence or that Clarence receives as he has never made any contribution to his welfare, future or past, monetarily, material, spiritual, etc."

Aretha Franklin's eldest son, Clarence Franklin, pictured at the center of two men mourns the death of his mother outside Greater Grace Temple following her funeral on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. | Source: Getty Images

Aretha Franklin's eldest son, Clarence Franklin, pictured at the center of two men mourns the death of his mother outside Greater Grace Temple following her funeral on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. | Source: Getty Images

HOW HER ASSETS WERE TO BE DIVIDED ACCORDING TO THE UNAUTHENTICATED WILLS

Meanwhile, Franklin was also specific about dividing her assets among her three younger children, Edward, Ted, and Kecalf.  She required two of them to go to business school first before they can receive their own inheritance. She likewise left detailed instructions for Clarence’s care. 

The wills which were submitted to a judge for evaluation have yet to be authenticated. 

FRANKLIN'S DEATH AND LEGACY IN THE INDUSTRY

Franklin died last year on August 16 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The 76-year-old left behind an unmatched legacy that deemed her the “Queen of Soul.” She was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the same year she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and Presidential Medal of Freedom.