More than five years after the singer's death, Franklin's properties have been allocated based on a handwritten will from 2014
On Monday, a judge in Detroit awarded the real estate based on a handwritten will from 2014 that had been found in between couch cushions. The will was declared valid under Michigan law in July, according to the Associated Press, and overruled the other handwritten will that was found around the same time, which was dated from 2010.
Based on the will, Franklin’s youngest son, Kecalf Franklin, will get the singer’s “crown jewel,” as a lawyer described it — her Detroit home, which was valued at $1.1 million in 2018, per the AP.
Her second son, Edward, was awarded another property, and her third son, Ted White Jr., inherited a house in Detroit.
The BBC reported that the property was previously sold by Franklin’s estate for $300,000, so “Teddy is requesting the sale proceeds,” according to his lawyer.
As for the “Respect” singer’s fourth home, the judge said the will did not specify who should inherit it, so it will be sold and the proceeds will be split between Kecalf, 53, Edward, 66, Teddy, 59, and Franklin’s oldest son, Clarence, who lives under legal guardianship and has not been involved in the trial, per BBC.
It’s worth over $1 million.
Kecalf’s attorney, Charles McKelvie, told the AP after the ruling: “This was a significant step forward. We’ve narrowed the remaining issues.”
The 2014 will overruling the 2010 will was the outcome two of Franklin’s sons, Kecalf and Edward, were reportedly hoping for.
After the court ruled to favor the 2014 will in July, Kecalf told the AP: “I’m very, very happy. I just wanted my mother’s wishes to be adhered to. We just want to exhale right now. It’s been a long five years for my family, my children.”
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The latter notably removed a provision that the prior document had which stated that the two older sons “must take business classes and get a certificate or a degree" to benefit from the estate.
Franklin died in 2018 of advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type at the age of 76.
Her family said in a statement at the time, “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
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