Aretha Franklin performs on stage in New York on November 7, 2017.

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It’s unclear which of Aretha Franklin’s wills is valid

Key steps required to create an estate plan

Franklin died at the age of 76, the father of four sons.The current legal dispute is between her sons, they disagreed over which handwritten will should administer their mother’s estate.their jury trial here we go on Monday.

One of Ted White II’s sons believes a 2010 will should control the estate, while two other sons, Kecalf Franklin and Edward Franklin ) in favor of the 2014 will.

There are differences between the docs. For example, a 2014 version of the AP reported that Kecalf Franklin and his grandchildren would receive his mother’s main home in Bloomfield Hills, which was worth $1.1 million at the time of her death . However, the 2010 edition was split equally between White and Kekaf Franklin.

Both wills appear to indicate that the sons will share revenue from music and copyrights.

Everyone should have a will or trust. (Otherwise) state law will dictate where your property goes.

Richard Berent

estate planner

Charlie Douglas, a certified financial planner and president of HH Legacy Investments in Atlanta, says some states, such as Michigan, allow handwritten wills, also known as holographic wills, to be valid if they meet certain criteria.

In general, newer wills take precedence over older wills, Douglas said.If the jury decides that Franklin’s 2014 will, the set up In a notebook under a sofa cushion, if valid, it would replace the 2010 document found in the locked cabinet.

“There’s so much that can go wrong,” Berent says of drafting a do-it-yourself will. “This (procedure) will be discussed in law schools in every state across the country.

“That’s why you don’t want to do it in Notepad,” he added.

In some cases, even a proper will will be superseded

In some cases, wills are superseded, such as with named beneficiaries on retirement accounts, Douglas said.

This could also happen if the deceased owned the property in a “joint tenancy,” in which two or more people jointly own the property, Douglas said. Let’s say a married couple has a joint investment account. This legal arrangement, which provides for the surviving spouse to inherit the account, takes precedence over the language in the will, Douglas said.

“You also have to look at how your assets are named,” Douglas said. “Because the will may or may not control (them).”

When someone dies, an executor files the will with the court as part of the “probate” process. The will and its contents will become a public record, Berent said.

Those who want to keep the details of estate planning private — especially the famous and wealthy — may prefer to use a trust, Berent said. Using a revocable trust is essentially the same as a will, but it allows you to bypass the courts, he said.


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