When you fail to plan for your demise, your heirs may end up fighting. With Aretha Franklin, three of her sons were battling in court over handwritten wills. The Queen of Soul, who died in 2018, had a few wills: one was dated and signed in 2010, which was found in a locked cabinet. Another, signed in 2014, was discovered in a spiral notebook under the cushions of a couch in her suburban Detroit home.
The Herald-Ledger’s recent article, “Aretha Franklin's will was in her couch. Here's where to keep yours,” says that a jury recently decided the couch-kept will is valid. However, Aretha didn’t clarify her final wishes. Her handwritten wills had notations that were hard to decipher, and she didn’t properly store the will she may have wanted to be executed upon her death.
The Herald-Ledger’s article gives some options for storing your will. First, don’t store your will in the couch.
You should keep your will where it is secure but easily located. Here are some options:
All options to store your will have pros and cons. Whatever you do, tell the person designated to handle your estate where to find your will.
If you want to avoid family feuds revolving around real estate property, we can help you set up your estate plan, or if you are dealing with a probate case, we are here to answer your questions. Contact The Werner Law Firm probate lawyers for a free consultation!
If you have any questions, schedule a free appointment with us through our online appointment page.
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Reference: The Herald-Ledger (July 19, 2023) “Aretha Franklin's will was in her couch. Here's where to keep yours.”
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