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Aretha Franklin's Will to be Examined by Handwriting Expert

Aretha Franklin
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Aretha Franklin performs onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Nov. 7, 2017 in New York City. 

A Michigan judge agreed to allow a handwriting expert to examine wills discovered in couch cushions after Aretha Franklin’s death.

During a hearing Tuesday, Oakland County Probate Judge Jennifer Callaghan also placed administration of Franklin’s estate under court supervision.

A handwritten 2014 document shows Franklin apparently wanted her son, Kecalf Franklin, to handle her estate, which might be worth millions. Erich Speckin was hired by the son to verify his mother’s handwriting. Specken told Callaghan it will take him about three hours to analyze the documents.   

Lawyers for Franklin’s estate have said “there is no basis” to believe Kecalf Franklin has the skills to administer the estate.

After Franklin’s death last August her heirs agreed to put the estate in the hands of Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, who is a university administrator. Attorneys for Theodore White II said in a court filing that White should be named co-executor, along with Owens.

White and Owens’ names appeared in a 2010 handwritten will, but were crossed out in the 2014 document.


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