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Aretha Franklin's wills found, sons object

The Queen of Soul's family thought she hadn't left any documents declaring her last wishes and but lawyers have now revealed they uncovered three handwritten notes in her Detroit home.

Aretha Franklin performs onstage during the ‘Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ Premiere Concert during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Radio City Music Hall on 19 April 2017 in New York City. Picture: Getty Images/AFP.

LONDON - Three handwritten wills made by the late Aretha Franklin have been discovered in her home.

The Queen of Soul's family thought she hadn't left any documents declaring her last wishes and how she wanted her assets dividing when she passed away in August 2018, but lawyers have now revealed they uncovered three handwritten notes in her Detroit home.

According to her estate's attorney, David Bennett, two wills dated from 2010 were found in a locked cabinet after a key to the dresser was located, while the most recent one, which was written in 2014, was found under cushions in the Natural Woman hitmaker's living room.

Some of the writing - which included notes in the margins and scratched-out text - has proven to be hard to decipher but appear to give her assets to various members of her family.

The attorney filed the wills - which were discovered earlier this month - in court on Monday but he was unsure whether they were legally binding under Michigan law.

A hearing was scheduled to take place on 12 June as two of Franklin's four sons objected to the wills, the family said in a statement.

In a separate court filing, the Respect singer's son, Kecalf Franklin, claimed the 2014 will stated his mother wanted him to serve as representative of the estate but the estate has confirmed that Sabrina Owens, an administrator at the University of Michigan, would continue to serve as their representative.

Don Wilson - a lawyer based in Los Angeles who worked for Franklin for 30 years - previously claimed he had spent a long time trying to persuade his client to get her affairs in order.

He said: "I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive. She never told me, 'No, I don't want to do one.' She understood the need. It just didn't seem to be something she got around to."

Wilson added: "She was a private person."

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