According to new documents released regarding Aretha Franklin’s estate, nearly one million dollars worth of uncashed checks were found in her possession when she died. The newly discovered checks were found in a recent inventory of Franklin’s estate that was being done in regards to the ongoing inheritance dispute between Franklin’s children. At the time of the singer’s death no will was found, meaning that her estate was to be split equally among her four sons. Months later, however, multiple handwritten wills were found and have lead to a legal battle between the siblings. The new checks add another layer to the case, as it took nearly a year for them to be found and added into Franklin’s belongings.
The issues surrounding Franklin’s estate began immediately after the singer died in August 2018, when no will was immediately found. Due to Franklin living in Michigan, this meant that her belongings were to be split equally between her four sons. The discovery of multiple wills, dating from 2010 and 2014, complicated the matter and led to animosity between the brothers. One of the brother’s stated that Franklin’s lawyers had not done a good enough job documenting and creating an inventory of the estate, stating that various documents were missing or late. The newly found checks are another instance of those in charge of the estate not keeping solid tabs on all of Franklin’s belongings, as an extra million dollars had been unfound until recently. The checks, of which there were 17 total, were primarily from the Sound Exchange and Screen Writers Guild, with others from various publishing deals.
The Blast reports that the uncashed checks include $702,711.90 from the Screen Writers Guild and $285,944.27 from EMI and other music companies. All told, they amount to a total of $988,656.17.