Heirs to Aretha Franklin's estate are locked in a court battle
California music fans grieved the death of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, along with the rest of the world. Many of Franklin's fans have closely followed news about litigation involving her heirs since then. Soon after Franklin passed away, it was thought she had not executed a last will and testament.
However, three handwritten documents were later discovered that detailed how the late singer wanted her assets to be distributed among her loved ones. Franklin had four sons, the eldest of whom is said to have special needs. Her niece was originally appointed to represent the estate, which is one of the issues now being litigated. One of Franklin's sons has petitioned the court to remove his cousin from the position and appoint him instead.
There are also questions as to whether the handwriting in the wills is, in fact, Franklin's. Her son has asked the court to order a handwriting analysis, comparing the wills to other samples of his mother's writing. In one of the wills, there are reportedly instructions saying that Franklin wanted a greater share of her assets to be used to provide for the special needs of her eldest son, while any balance remaining was to be equally distributed among her other sons.
In situations where heirs are challenging each others' right to an inheritance, stress levels can be high. Such cases can also spark relationship problems, especially when litigation involves siblings. Relying on an experienced estate planning and administration law attorney is always a good idea for anyone in California who wishes to minimize probate litigation stress and obtain as fair and positive an outcome as possible.