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Thread started 05/21/19 10:03am

poppys

3 Wills found in Aretha's house



This is an interesting wrinkle. Unlike Minnesota, holographic wills are honored in the State of Michigan, although there are guidelines.

https://www.npr.org/2019/...klins-home


gettyimages-139214573-faa971c794d466a315dd1d5c678e7591c80f09d8-s1300-c85.jpg

The late Aretha Franklin, performing in New York City in 2012.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

When the Queen of Soul died last August, family and lawyers said publicly that they believed that Aretha Franklin did not have a will. On Monday, however, three handwritten wills that had been found in her Detroit-area home — one from 2014 and two dated 2010 — were filed in probate court in Oakland County, Mich.

According to the filing, which NPR has reviewed, the March 2014 will was located inside a spiral notebook, under couch cushions in her living room. Some of the four-page document is nearly illegible, and it is full of cross outs and notes added to the margins. The two 2010 wills were found in a locked cabinet. David Bennett, Franklin's attorney of more than four decades, has asked the court to rule whether or not the three wills are valid under Michigan law...



https://www.edwardallenlaw.com/michigans-holographic-will-requirements/

Michigan’s Holographic Will Requirements

Under Michigan’s Estates and Protected Individuals Code (also known as “EPIC”), a will is valid if it is in writing, is signed by the testator (the person making the will) and is witnessed and signed by at least two other individuals. However, a will can still be considered valid even if it doesn’t meet these requirements. One of the exceptions to these requirements is the holographic will.

Michigan is one of several states that recognizes and accepts holographic wills. A holographic will is a will that is handwritten by the testator and is not witnessed. In order for a holographic will to be recognized in Michigan, it must meet the following requirements:

  • The holographic will must be dated,
  • The testator must sign the holographic will,
  • Material portions of the will must be in the testator’s handwriting, and
  • It must be evident that the document was intended to serve as testator’s will.

Material portions refer to the substantive contents of the will, such as who the devisees are (individuals who receive property under the will), who the personal representative will be and/or who will have guardianship over the testator’s children (if applicable).

In deciding whether a given writing constitutes a holographic will, a court may look to other documentation, including documentation that is not handwritten by the testator.

While holographic wills are possible, there are several avenues for possible contention by someone who may disagree with what the will states. For example, is the document purported to be a holographic will really in the testator’s handwriting, or is it a forgery? What if there are other documents dated after the holographic will, that appear to contradict what the holographic will says? Due to the potential for uncertainty, one should be very careful in relying on a holographic will...



[Edited 5/21/19 10:04am]

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Reply #1 posted 05/21/19 3:22pm

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

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These three competing holographic wills will cause more litigation, not less.

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Reply #2 posted 05/21/19 5:08pm

poppys

I found it interesting since I live in a state that also recognizes holographic wills. Don't know a thing about what it means.

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Reply #3 posted 05/21/19 9:07pm

ISaidLifeIsJus
tAGame

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poppys said:

I found it interesting since I live in a state that also recognizes holographic wills. Don't know a thing about what it means.



It means it is handwritten and there are no witnesses.


eek

How about the people that were crossed off her will? I would be saying someone else x me out!

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Reply #4 posted 05/21/19 9:36pm

SoulAlive

Celebrities need to take this stuff more seriously.Write *one* will when you are alive and healthy and make sure that it is filed properly.Have your lawyers present.Otherwise,there will be a lot of confusion,fighting amongst family members and unnecessary drama.
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Reply #5 posted 05/22/19 6:23am

poppys

ISaidLifeIsJustAGame said:

poppys said:

I found it interesting since I live in a state that also recognizes holographic wills. Don't know a thing about what it means.



It means it is handwritten and there are no witnesses.


eek

How about the people that were crossed off her will? I would be saying someone else x me out!


C'mon Life, I know what the definition of holographic is, I posted the thread. I read the article and the links in the OP. I went through Katrina, lots of holographic wills turned up here after that disaster, which are accepted in my state.

What I meant was I am not an attorney, like you, so I don't know all the ins and outs with her family or the music. She did say before she died that everything she recorded is out there.

I do know that there are hundreds of pages of posts here that a will might turn up after Prince died, but if it was holographic it would not have been recognized in the state of Minnesota. I just find it interesting, that's all.

[Edited 5/22/19 6:28am]

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Reply #6 posted 05/22/19 8:51am

kitbradley

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I just hope one of her sons releases those 5 Atlantic albums that Aretha had been holding out on. They serve no purpose filed away in a drawer.

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #7 posted 05/22/19 10:40am

poppys

kitbradley said:

I just hope one of her sons releases those 5 Atlantic albums that Aretha had been holding out on. They serve no purpose filed away in a drawer.


Hmm, I didn't know that. Do you know why they are held back?

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Reply #8 posted 05/22/19 10:51am

poppys

SoulAlive said:

Celebrities need to take this stuff more seriously.Write *one* will when you are alive and healthy and make sure that it is filed properly.Have your lawyers present.Otherwise,there will be a lot of confusion,fighting amongst family members and unnecessary drama.


True, but there is usually drama, even when regular folks die. It's just the way it is I guess. Tom Petty's estate that many thought was working out well because the music was being released, was in the news this week. Lots of infighting.

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Reply #9 posted 05/22/19 4:58pm

kitbradley

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poppys said:

kitbradley said:

I just hope one of her sons releases those 5 Atlantic albums that Aretha had been holding out on. They serve no purpose filed away in a drawer.


Hmm, I didn't know that. Do you know why they are held back?

I always heard she held the masters and was asking for an unreasonable amount of money to license them for reissue. And you know she preferred to be paid in cash. Which i am sure caused apathy from any label interested in doing reissues.

[Edited 5/22/19 16:59pm]

"It's not nice to fuck with K.B.! All you haters will see!" - Kitbradley
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Reply #10 posted 05/22/19 5:08pm

poppys

kitbradley said:

poppys said:


Hmm, I didn't know that. Do you know why they are held back?


I always heard she held the masters and was asking for an unreasonable amount of money to license them for reissue. And you know she preferred to be paid in cash. Which i am sure caused apathy from any label interested in doing reissues.


lol sounds about right.

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Reply #11 posted 05/22/19 5:43pm

poppys

https://jezebel.com/areth...1834937270


...The wills reportedly all detail the specific distribution of her assets—music royalties, jewelry, real estate—among her sons and grandchildren, though they’ve also got some saucy details:

She also uses the document to zing various people she feels served her poorly, including a lawyer, an accountant and the father of one of her sons, who, she wrote, “never made any contribution to his welfare, future or past, monetarily, except $5 or $10.”


(Her attorney, David J. Bennett, seemed slightly hurt by this, telling the Times in a statement: “I acted as her personal attorney for many years and until the date of her death, so if that is what she thought, I don’t know why she continued

with me.” Sad!)

It’s unclear whether the handwritten wills will hold up in court. Though there are Michigan laws recognizing certain handwritten wills, the Times spoke to a few legal experts who noted wills like Franklin’s could be “ambiguous” enough to fall short of legal validation. If that’s the case, Michigan law requires Franklin’s estate to be split up equally among her four sons...

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