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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Aretha Franklin Prepared No Will or Trust

The news reports came quickly last week after the passing of Aretha Franklin. Her attorney announced she left behind no will or trust.

As a result, within a few days of her passing four sons filed a document in Michigan listing themselves as interested parties in her estate, and a niece asked the court to name her as personal representative of the estate.

Reports have surfaced that Franklin’s estate is worth $80 million. At this point there’s little way of knowing how all of this will turn out.

Her attorney said he urged her for many years to create a will or trust, especially after her health began to deteriorate.

Under Michigan law, the assets of person who is not married and passes away without a will are equally divided among any children. Nevertheless, an extended court battle can be expected over her assets by creditors or other family members who would try to gain a portion of her estate.

While no one likes to think about their own passing, this serves as another good reminder of why it’s important to prepare the necessary legal documents to protect your loved ones. When a family member passes away, it is already an emotional challenging period for the remaining family. By preparing the necessary documents in advance, you save your loved ones from additional emotional stress and the possibility of a legal battle.



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