• Aretha Franklin died with nearly $1 million in uncashed checks, court records say

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

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    Who's zooming who? The late Aretha Franklin had nearly $1 million in uncashed checks when she died last year, according to court papers.

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    The checks were discovered during an inventory of the Queen of Soul's possession as lawyers try to solve the battle over Franklin's estate, Billboard reported.

    Franklin died Aug. 16, 2018, in Detroit, from advanced pancreatic cancer. The singer-songwriter was 76.

    An inventory after her death found that Franklin had a check for $702,711.90 from Sound Exchange and Screen Writers Guild, and uncashed checks to her publishing company, Springtime Publishing, from EMI, BMI, Carlin Music and Feel Good Films for $285,944.27. In total, $988,656.17 in uncashed checks were found, Billboard reported.

    Franklin has four surviving sons. Originally, no will was found, and under Michigan law, the singer's assets would have been divided equally among the siblings, the magazine reported.

    However, in early 2019 three handwritten wills were found in her house, according to Billboard. Two were written in 2010 and the other was penned in 2014. The authenticity of the wills is under review by a handwriting expert. If proven valid, the distribution of Franklin's assets would be changed, the magazine reported.

    "It is totally unacceptable that it has taken a year for the heirs to begin to find out what their mother owned on the date of her death," Kecalf' Franklin's attorney wrote in a recent court motion. "To date, the heirs still do not know what was owned on Aretha Franklin's date of death."

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