Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Wills Reveals Surprise Father for One of Her Sons

aretha franklin - mic

*As previously reported, eight months after the death of Aretha Franklin, three handwritten wills have been found in her suburban Detroit home.

At the time of her death last August of pancreatic cancer, lawyers and family members said the Queen of Soul had no will, but three handwritten versions were reportedly discovered earlier this month.

Bennett filed the wills on Monday, despite not being certain of they’re legal under Michigan law. Now the estate and family members want a judge to make it make sense.

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aretha franklin handwritten will

The wills were discovered May 3, two in a locked closet for which the key was only recently located and one in a spiral notebook stuffed under cushions on a sofa.

The 16 pages reportedly reveal that Franklin was all about making sure her sons were treated fairly.

Via NBC News:

Several times across all three documents, she writes that her assets should go equally to her three younger sons and outlines detailed instructions for the care of her eldest son, Clarence, who was born in 1955, when Aretha Franklin was just 12 years old. He special needs that have never been publicly disclosed.

Clarence Franklin’s father has been reported to have been a man named Donald Burk, who was a schoolmate of the singer’s. Not according to one of the purported wills, dated June 21, 2010. It says Clarence’s father is Edward Jordan Sr. — who’s also the acknowledged father of another of the singer’s sons, Edward, who was born when she was 14.

Jordan is described in David Ritz’s 2014 biography, “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” as a “player” whom Franklin once knew.

Page 6 of the purported will includes this adamant declaration as part of the instructions for Clarence Franklin’s care: “His father, Edward Jordan Sr., should never receive or handle any money or property belonging to Clarence or that Clarence receives as he has never made any contribution to his welfare, future or past, monetarily, material, spiritual, etc.”

A hearing about the will has been scheduled for June 12.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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