The passing of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin was punctuated by a star-studded homegoing service this past Friday in her hometown of Detroit. Aretha died at 76 years old after losing her fight to pancreatic cancer. As it has been reported, she did not have a will and now it will likely take years for her four sons (Clarence Franklin, Edward Franklin, Kecalf Franklin, and Ted White Jr. Clarence) to find and divide her assets as the IRS is in the process of completing an audit of everything she owned.
According to her attorney, she understood the importance of a will, but just never got around to doing it. Under Michigan law, her sons will equally divide their mother’s assets. “She never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to,” says Don Wilson, who advised Franklin for 30 years.
“Remember your family, and friends that have been with you for years,” Aretha’s friend Ron Moten told her sons during the funeral on Friday. “Because you are about to meet a lot of people who will now want to be your new best friend. You will also meet some people that will have the best investments in the world for you. My advice? Go slow, be careful and be smart.”
Franklin’s assets include real estate and ownership of a number of songs. Franklin did not own the rights to “Respect” as it was written by Ottis Redding.