Aretha Franklin Died With $1 Million in Uncashed Checks


An inventory of Aretha Franklin found checks from Sound Exchange, Screen Writers Guild, Springtime Publishing, EMI, BMI, Carlin Music and Feel Good Film


Aretha Franklin had almost of $1 million in uncashed checks in her possession at the time of her death, according to newly filed court papers. The checks were discovered during an inventory of Franklin’s possessions, adding a new twist to the battle over the Queen of Soul’s estate.(source: Billboard)

An inventory following her death found that Franklin had a check for $702,711.90 from Sound Exchange and Screen Writers Guild as well as uncashed checks to her publishing company, Springtime Publishing, from EMI, BMI, Carlin Music and Feel Good Films in the amount of $285,944.27. In total, $988,656.17 in uncashed checks were found.

Franklin, who died on Aug. 16, 2018 at the age of 76, left behind four sons, Clarence, Edward, Teddy and Kecalf. Originally, no will was found and under Michigan law, her estate was set to be divided equally between her children. But nine months after her death, three handwritten wills — two from 2010 and one from 2014 — were found in her house.

The discovery of the wills, if valid, would change the distribution of Franklin’s assets. Each of the brothers have retained their own legal teams. The authencity of the found documents is under review by a handwriting expert.

So far, the hefty uncashed checks have caused less commotion. Attorneys for Franklin’s son Kecalf tracked down one the banks that issued checks to Aretha and, according to court papers, there were instances where checks had been uncashed since 2012 and had to be reissued in 2016.




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