It's being reported Aretha Franklin did NOT leave a will behind and now her partner, Willie Wilkerson, is looking to cash in on her multi-million forutune. Deets inside...
Well, this is a shocker!
It's being reported that at the time Aretha Franklin passed away, she did NOT have a will or trust to explain how to split up her fortune, despite her entertainment lawyer urging her to do so. According to the Detroit Free Press, her fours sons have filed a document listing themselves as interested parties in her estate.
As we all know, the music icon died last week in her Detroit home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
Her son, Kecalf Franklin, and her estate attorney, David Bennett, filed paperwork with the Oakland County Probate Court in Michigan that acknowledged the absence of a will.
"The decedent died intestate and after exercising reasonable diligence, I am unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state as defined" under the law, the document said, via the Detroit Free Press.
With no will or trust, The Queen of Soul's finances will become public. Her niece, Sabrina Owens, has requested to become the personal representative of the estate.
TMZ reports Aretha's four sons will equally share in her estate under Michigan law. It's even more shocking that she did not have a will in place being that she has a son with special needs named Clarence who needs financial and other forms of support for his entire life.
"I was after her for a number of years to do a trust," Aretha's entertainment lawyer Don Wilson said. "It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate, and kept things private."
And we all know Aretha liked to keep her personal life private. This is déjà vu. Prince did the same thing.
Right now, it's unclear the dollar value of her song catalog, but it's reported she kept ownership of her original compositions.
As her family tries to square away her estate, her longtime partner Willie Wilkerson feels he's owed a piece of the pie.
According to RadarOnline, Aretha's 70-year-old partner, who lived with Aretha for the last 30 years, is gearing up to fight her sons in court for a portion of her supposed $80 million fortune. At one point in time, they were engaged to be married, but Aretha called it off. However, they remained in a relationship.
A source close to Aretha's partner, who is/was supposedly a local firefighter, told the site he feels "it's only fair he receive a portion of her estate."
This could get ugly. Not to mention, all of the vultures that'll likely come out the woodwork trying to cash in.