Jurors debated for nearly an hour Tuesday before determining that the handwritten documents found under a sofa cushion by Franklin’s nephew were legally binding documents that they had been signed by the “Respect” singer in 2014.
Attorneys for the singer’s sons, Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin, won the lawsuit alleging that the 2014 documents were valid and superseded the 2010 version of the will Franklin left in the vault before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2018. By the same nephew who discovered a locker and the 2014 version in Franklin’s Detroit home.
Contrasting documents, each adorned with scribbles and long-winded notes, ignited more than four years of debate between the estate. Family Firstly He believed Franklin left no will behind, but in 2019 they were stunned when they found two versions of the document.
“I am very, very happy. I just wanted my mother’s wishes to be fulfilled,” said Kecalf Franklin. “We just want to exhale right now. It’s been a long five years for my family, my children.”
Known by many as the Queen of Soul, Franklin was the most acclaimed female R&B vocalist of her era. Winner of 18 Grammy Awards and a 1994 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement winner, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Presidential Medal of Freedom, National Medal of Arts, and Kennedy Center Honors.