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By Alex Johnson
Representatives of Aretha Franklin's estate and her family have asked a judge to tell them what to do with three handwritten wills found hidden at her home, one of which involves a big surprise.
Wills were discovered on May 3 in Detroit's Franklin House, two in a locked cupboard whose key was hard to find and one in a spiral notebook stuffed with cushions on a couch, according to documents filed Monday in Oakland County Court, Michigan.
When Franklin died in August, the lawyers said she had no wills.
The 16 scribbled pages have not yet been authenticated as being in Franklin's writing, according to the lawyers of Franklin's four sons and the personal representative in charge of the estate. And even if they are real, it is not clear that they are valid, according to court documents, that ask the judge to identify everything and determine the next step.
But if they are real, they reveal a wise businesswoman who wanted her son to be treated fairly. On several occasions in the three documents, she writes that her property should also go to her three younger sons and describes detailed instructions for the care of her eldest son, Clarence, who has special needs that have not been addressed. never been publicly disclosed.
About Clarence …
Clarence Franklin was born in 1955, while Aretha Franklin was only 12 years old. Franklin rarely spoke of his family and his personal life, and for decades, Clarence Franklin's father would call Donald Burk, sometimes translated by Burke, a singer's classmate.
Not according to one of the so-called wills, dated June 21, 2010. It is said that Clarence's father is Edward Jordan Sr. – who is also the recognized father of another son of the singer, Edward, born at the age of 14 years.
Little is known about him, but Franklin was undeniably unimpressed by Jordan, described in David Ritz's monumental 2014 biography, "Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin," but only as a "gambler" who He used to know.
On page 6 of the so-called will, this categorical statement is part of the instructions to Clarence Franklin: "His father, Edward Jordan Sr., should never receive or handle money or property belonging to Clarence or Clarence receives as he has never done any contribution to his future welfare or past, financial, material, spiritual, etc. "
The two occurrences of the word "never" are underlined.
A hearing was scheduled for June 12.