Aretha Franklin’s will from 2014 found in a couch.

Aretha Franklin’s sons awarded ownership of homes in will found between couch cushions

Aretha Franklin’s sons have been awarded ownership of her former homes, thanks to a will discovered between couch cushions. The decision came four months after a jury said the document was valid despite being hard to read. The papers, which date to 2014, overrule a separate, handwritten will from 2010 found at Franklin’s Detroit home in 2019. The youngest son, Kecalf, was awarded the gated mansion in suburban Detroit, which was valued at $1.1 million (£870,000) in 2018, but is now worth more.

Another son, Ted White II, who favoured the 2010 will, was given another house in Detroit – although it was sold by the Franklin estate for $300,000 (£236,500) before the competing wills were discovered. Judge Jennifer Callaghan awarded a third son, Edward Franklin, another property under the 2014 will. Franklin’s fourth home, also worth more than $1m (£790,000), is expected to be sold, with the proceeds shared by her four sons.

A copy of the first page of the 2014 document ruled to be Aretha Franklin's willWhen

Franklin died from pancreatic cancer in August 2018, it was widely believed she had not prepared a will to distribute ownership of roughly $6m (£4.6m) in real estate, cash, gold records and furs, or to her music copyrights. However, nine months later, her niece Sabrina Owens discovered two separate sets of handwritten documents at the singer’s home in Detroit.