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Arethas lack of a will could make the heirs rocky

Aretha Franklin was so stubborn in her business that she asked to be paid in cash before the performance. Your heirs will not be so easy.

Although she was 76 years old and suffering from incurable pancreatic cancer, the queen of the soul died unwillingly.

When Their Four Sons and Other Family Members Leave On Friday At the funeral in Detroit, they may have the great job of figuring out how many millions they're worth, and splitting them, a process that could take years, and probably in public will be held.

Real estate law experts voiced surprise, but no shock, that a wealthy person like Franklin would make a will until it was too late. At least one of the singer's lawyers says he's been pushing her to design one over the years.

"I've tried to convince her that she should not just make a will, but trust during her lifetime," says Don Wilson. a Los Angeles lawyer who worked for Franklin for nearly 30 years. "She never told me," No, I do not want to do one. "She understood the need, it just did not seem to be something she came to."

Laura Zwicker, a lawyer Specializing in estate planning but not affiliated with the Franklin estate, she says she sees this all too often in her work. 1

9659007] "People do not like to face their own mortality," says Zwicker. "I had a client who had a $ 70 million real estate portfolio that had end-stage diabetes, and he had many conversations with me about estate planning, but he did not sign the documents."

Papers released last week in David J. Bennett, the lawyer who worked most closely with Franklin, did not explain the basics Basics:

She was not married, leaving behind four sons aged 48 to 63: Clarence Franklin , Edward Franklin, Kecalf Franklin and Ted White Jr. Clarence, Aretha's Elder, is incapacitated and is represented by a guardian who has assumed the role of executor.

Under Michigan law, as in most states, the sons will equally divide their mother's assets in the absence of a will, and so far, family members have shown no signs of conflict (1965-9011) Aretha Franklin's friend Ron Moten , a businessman from Michigan, gave instructions to the four sons in his speech at the funeral on Friday.

"Remember your family and your friends who have been with her for years," Moten told the men. "Because you will soon meet many people who now want to be your new best friend, you will also meet some people who have the best investments in the world for you, my advice, go slowly, be careful and be." Smart. "

The documents do not mention the value of Franklin's estate, which is almost certainly tens of millions, but there are likely to be very different estimates as their lawyers try to downplay their assets for tax purposes, and the IRS tries the amount

Franklin retained ownership of the songs she wrote and did well, says Wilson, although "Think" of her big hits is the only one that is her own composition, she also wrote Some smaller hits, such as "Rock Steady."

Although her records were played millions of times, she earned little in radio royalties from smash like "Respect" from 1967, because such payments overwhelmingly go to the author of the song The Actor In the case of Respect, the royalties go to the estate of Otis Redding, although the song Franklin owes almost all its popularity.

"I can I imagine that she probably had the right to more, but probably received more than many of the time artists, especially Afro-American artists, "says Wilson.

Franklin's more material assets include several properties in the Detroit area that are estimated to cost at least $ 2 million, according to tax accountants. with a market value that could easily be twice that.

Once the value is fixed – a process that could take years – the IRS will redeem all taxes Franklin has owed, then its estate will be taxed at 40 percent on assets over $ 11.2

Kenneth Abdo, a litigation attorney specializing in the estate of Prince who also died without a will, says the IRS will conduct an audit of its holdings.

Wilson, her entertainment lawyer says she would not, I wanted to see her finances aired in public: "She was a private person."

Why some clients do not make a will, Zwicker said that some heirs, such as Franklin's son Clarence, might need more than others, and that can be a difficult and delicate decision for a parent.

"An arrangement may be appropriate for a child where other people need more help," said Zwicker. "To accept that and put it on paper can be difficult for a parent."

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