AceShowbiz - Aretha Franklin's sons now own the late soul legend's real estate after a judge ruled that a 2014 handwritten will found hidden in her sofa was the correct document. The "Respect" hitmaker died of cancer in August 2018 without leaving a formalized plan for her estate, but her niece Sabrina Owens later discovered two handwritten documents, one dated March 31, 2014, and a second from 2010 which was discovered in a locked cabinet in the music legend's Detroit home, prompting a dispute between her sons.
And now the judge presiding over the case has confirmed that Kecalf Franklin, 53, will get Aretha's Detroit home where the wills were discovered, which has exceeded in value since it was valued at $1.1 million in 2018. Edward Franklin, 66, is now the owner of one of her star's properties, and Ted White II, 59, will benefit from the estate's $300,000 sale of one of the homes owned by his late parent.
While Kecalf and Edward wanted the later document to be determined as her legal will, their brother Ted advocated for the 2010 will. Ted was named executor in the earlier document, but his name was crossed out and replaced by Kecalf in the 2014 will, though all four documents said Aretha's four sons, including Clarence, 68, who has special needs, lives under a guardianship and wasn't involved in the case, would share money made from royalties and copyright.
Kecalf was previously quoted by Sky News as saying, "I'm very, very happy. I just wanted my mother's wishes to be adhered to." He insisted there was no rift with his brother over the legal row. He added, "I love my brother with all my heart."
Kecalf previously claimed it was not out of the ordinary for his mother to carry out important tasks and even "sleep on the couch." Her niece Sabrina added, "She would use the kitchen and living room - that was about it. So when I got to the sofa, I lifted up that far right cushion and there was three notebooks there."
Arethea's accounts filed in March showed the estate had an income of $3.9 million over the past 12 months and spending including more than $900,000 in legal fees. The "A Natural Woman" singer's entire assets, most of which is property and cash, are valued at $4.1 million.