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Aretha Franklin Did Not Make A Will - But Here's Why YOU Should

The ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin died in August at the age of 76, but she did not leave a Will. How is this likely to affect her family? Tilly Bailey & Irvine explain....

It now means that her four sons and other family members are left to discover just what wealth she left behind, before the tricky task of diving up the millions then takes place.

This process could well take years, and will likely play out in public due to her high profile.

Don Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer who worked for Franklin for nearly 30 years, said “she never told me, ‘No, I don’t want to do one.’ She understood the need. It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to. I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive.”

Under Michigan law, as in most states, the sons will equally divide their mother’s assets in the absence of a will. So far no sign of conflict has emerged.

Why Should I Make A Will?

We shouldn’t be too surprised that so few of us bother to make adequate plans for when we die, but the points above do get you thinking about your circumstances.

The reason why people usually put off thinking about making a Will is simple: who wants to think about their own death?

Many people embark upon “do it yourself wills” without realising the problems making your own Will can lead to.

If you do not have a Will, the Intestacy Rules offer little comfort. Your property, etc. will be divided by rules made by Parliament. These rules are mostly inflexible and all too often create another worry for your family at a time of bereavement and disruption at home.

Making a Will is therefore a way of making life easier for them. Where somebody dies:

  • If a husband leaves everything to his wife in his Will, she gets it all whereas if they have children and he dies without making a Will, which is  called dying intestate, she may receive less and have the aggravation of delays.
  • If there are step-children of a marriage, those children may effectively be disinherited.
  • If you have no family, your property may simply pass to the State

If you don’t have a Will or have one that requires updating don’t put it off, call us today to make a quick and free appointment to review your situation. Our specialist probate solicitors can offer impartial, honest and caring advice on all aspects of making a Will in the UK and Tax Planning. Call 0333 444 4422 or visit