Imagine finding a will under a couch cushion! That's the case with Aretha Franklin's 2014 will. A jury in 2023 deemed this late-discovered, couch-cushion document as valid, stirring up an unusual celebrity estate dispute saga that started in August 2018 - shortly after her sad departure.

Picture this: May 2019, Aretha Franklin's home, several wills suddenly surface. A bitter courtroom battle ensues among her sons, pitting the 2010 will against the 2014 'cushion' version.

Who were the key players in this estate tug-of-war?

4 children and 3 siblings—her sons with Edward Jordan, Clarence (born 1955) and Edward (born 1957), Teddy Richards (born 1964) with Ted White, Kecalf Cunningham (born 1970) with Ken Cunningham, and siblings Carolyn, Erma, and Cecil Franklin.

We'll dive into what makes this estate dispute unique and explore 3 vital lessons we can distill from Aretha's Estate Plan.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.