On behalf of Pakis, Giotes, Page & Burleson, P.C.
Family Battles for Control of Aretha Franklin’s Estate
Many in Waco may simply assume that most adults have already seen to the creation of their wills. Statistics, however, suggest otherwise. Indeed, estimates indicate that less than half of American adults have any sort of estate planning instrument.
The trouble with this is that it introduces the potential for confusion and contention into the administration of one’s estate. Thus, careful (and proper) planning is important to help avoid the possibility of disputes erupting amongst one’s beneficiaries.
Disputes Abound Over Late Singer’s Estate
“Proper” planning in this context may mean supervised assistance under the direction of a qualified professional, although ultimately any document detailing an estate’s succession may work. At least, that is the argument presented by the representatives for one of the sons of the late singer Aretha Franklin. The former icon failed to leave behind a formal will, and since her death in 2018, several people have come forward with handwritten wills claiming to detail her wishes. One of these literally came from between the cushions of her couch, and detailed how she wanted the aforementioned son to manage her estate. This has led to a lengthy dispute between Franklin’s children, while her niece (who served as the estate’s executor) now wishes to relinquish the role due to this growing family divide.
Properly Managing the Estate Planning Process
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even with transparency throughout the estate planning process beneficiaries will not dispute one’s estate plans. Such action can, however, offer better insight into one’s true intentions. Involving others in the process provides further proof of one’s frame of mind while making these decisions. An especially helpful party to involve may be an estate planning attorney, who can provide the legal knowledge needed to help ensure a smooth administration.