Jury Sides with Aretha Franklin’s 2014 Handwritten Will Found in Couch

The decision took less than an hour to make.

In a swift deliberation that lasted less than an hour, a jury reached a unanimous decision regarding the division of legendary singer Aretha Franklin's estate, agreeing that a handwritten document, found tucked away in a couch and dated back to 2014 would serve as the Queen of Soul’s final will.

The singer’s sons Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin, emerged as victors in a legal battle against their brother, Ted White II. The dispute centered around competing documents: a note from 2010 discovered in a locked cabinet at their mother’s home in suburban Detroit that Ted favored and a handwritten document from 2014 discovered stashed away in the “Respect” singer’s couch.

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While Franklin’s four sons will share income from music and copyrights, the later document stated that Kecalf and grandchildren would get the singer’s main home in Bloomfield Hills, which was valued at $1.1 million at the time of her death five years ago at the age of 76.

Kecalf told NBC News reporters, “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.”

In closing arguments, Charles McKelvie, a lawyer for Kecalf and Edward, told the jury that the location where the records were found did not make them less significant, stating, “You can take your will and leave it on the kitchen counter. It’s still your will.”

Franklin has four children including her son Clarence Franklin, who lives under guardianship in an assisted living center. He did not participate in the trial but will still benefit from the estate.

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