Turns out they were wrong.
One of her lawyers told the Associated Press on Monday, May 20, that not only did the iconic songstress have a will — she had three handwritten ones in her Detroit home.
The newest one, dated 2014, was found in a spiral notebook that was hidden under the cushions of a living room couch. Per the AP, the four-page handwritten document was difficult to read, had portions scratched out, and phrases scribbled in the margins. It appears to leave her goods to her family members.
There were also two wills dated 2010 that were discovered in a locked cabinet that was finally opened when the key was found.
According to the AP, Franklin’s lawyer of more than 40 years, David Bennet, filed the three documents with the courts on May 20, but said he wasn’t sure if they’re legal. He has asked the courts to determine whether they are valid under Michigan law.
The celebrated singer’s niece Sabrina Owens will continue to be the personal rep for Franklin’s estate. Owens said in a statement to the AP that she “remains neutral and wishes that all parties involved make wise choices on behalf of their mother, her rich legacy, the family, and the Aretha Franklin estate.”
A hearing over the validity of the wills is set for June 12.