Rhythm and blues fans in Illinois and throughout the world have been paying tribute to music superstar Aretha Franklin, who recently passed away. In addition to being known for her powerful voice and tremendous success in the music industry, she was also known for being an intensely private person. An expected probate litigation process is about to change all that, however, because information regarding her estate will soon be made public.
Franklin leaves behind four sons. Something she did not leave behind, though, was a last will and testament. This has prompted all four of her adult children to file a document in court, stating that they feel entitled to inherit portions of her estate. Another relative, Franklin’s niece, has also made a request of the court, asking to be designated as the estate’s representative.
An attorney who handled copyright issues and various business matters for Franklin said he tried to stress the importance of executing a solid estate plan. This particular attorney has been involved in another probate litigation situation regarding the assets of the late music star, Ike Turner, for the past 11 years and says he hopes Franklin’s family does not become entangled in a similar contentious situation. It is not uncommon for family discord to arise when the owner of a substantial estate dies without a will in place.
At this time, no dollar value has been assigned to Franklin’s song catalog. She reportedly retained ownership of some of her biggest hits. Probate litigation laws vary by state. Those in Illinois who wish to help their loved ones avoid long, drawn-out court battles may want to reach out for legal support to discuss the estate planning process.