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Aretha Franklin. (Matthew Jordan Smith)

Judge Overseeing Aretha Franklin’s Estate Case Puts Property Sale On Hold

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PONTIAC, Mich. (CelebrityAccess) A probate judge in Michigan supervising the legal challenges to the estate of Aretha Franklin has determined that a proposed property sale cannot go forward until all the heirs are in agreement.

Several alleged handwritten wills were recently discovered in one of Franklin’s homes, and the attorney for one of the performer’s heirs assumed that Oakland County Probate Judge Jennifer Callaghan would rule on their validity but the judge made it clear that would be premature, according to the Detroit News.

“I’m not prepared to do anything like that,” Callaghan said.

Kecalf Franklin, one of the singer’s four sons, filed an opposition to the sale of property adjacent to his mother’s Bloomfield Hills home. An attorney for Franklin’s niece said that a $350,000 offer had been made on the home, which Franklin purchased in 2011 for $225,000.

David J. Bennett, who reps Owens – the estate’s personal representative – said that Franklin purchased the property adjacent to her Bloomfield Hills home for privacy reasons and noted that Owens was the only person who should be a personal representative, telling the judge that she is currently discussing film projects with director Ron Howard’s Imagine Company, including a biopic. Bennett said property needs to be sold to meet tax obligations but an opposing attorney said an inventory needs to be done first.

Callaghan said a formal filing seeking the authentication of the handwritten notes has yet to be done, according to the News. She set a July 14 hearing to resume legal discussions on the estate, which could be around a speculated $80 million.


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