Estate Planning

What Does Aretha Franklin, Prince, and Abraham Lincoln All Have in Common?

What Does Aretha Franklin, Prince, and Abraham Lincoln All Have in Common?

Another Famous Celebrity Dies Without a Will

When legendary singer Aretha Franklin died of advanced pancreatic cancer at age 76, she did not have a will or trust, according to documents filed in Oakland County Probate Court. And now the $80 million estate of the intensely private Queen of Soul is about to become very public – and possibly very taxing for her heirs.

"The decedent died intestate and after exercising reasonable diligence, I am unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property located in this state as defined under the law,” the form reads.

Aretha’s lawyer of nearly 30 years told the Detroit Free Press that he was constantly asking her to do a trust, but she just never got around to doing it.

"I was after her for a number of years to do a trust," Los Angeles attorney Don Wilson told the Detroit Free Press. "It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate and kept things private."

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