Aretha Franklin died intestate – without a Will.

The world recently lost one of it’s greatest divas. Aretha Franklin died aged 76 from pancreatic cancer. During her extraordinary 60 year career the wonderfully talented Ms. Franklin amassed a personal wealth of an estimated $80m what’s remarkable, however, is that the Queen of Soul died intestate.

Court documents obtained by US site, TMZ confirm that Aretha Franklin did die without a valid Will in place. They report:

It’s especially surprising given that she has a special needs son named Clarence who needs financial and other forms of support for his entire life,” states TMZ. “Aretha was ill for several years, but apparently did not see the end coming …or possibly a will was low on the priority list.

What will happen to the estate?

Ms. Franklin’s hefty estate will be distributed under Michigan state law meaning her four sons, Clarence, Edward, Ted, and Kecalf will receive an equal share.

Read more about how to deal with the estate of someone who has died intestate here.

Who else has died intestate?

Aretha Franklin is not alone in dying with no Will in place. Over the years there have been many high profile celebrities that have died intestate leaving large estates to be fought over by relatives in some cases for many many years…

The Purple Prince of Pop died intestate leaving an estate valued around $200MILLION. With no direct heirs – children – his sister and five HALF siblings have been declared ‘official’ heirs. But, two years on and they are yet to receive a penny.

Amy Winehouse
Amy sadly died at just 27 years old – the average age for writing a Will is 47 so it’s not surprising that the late singer died intestate. Her 4.5m estate was ultimately inherited by her parents

Bob Marley
30 years after his death Bob Marley’s heirs are STILL fighting over his $30m estate.

Rik Mayle
A cautionary tale of estate planning – having died unexpectedly in June 2014 Rik Mayle’s family were left with a £1.2m tax bill.

Writing your Will

Administering the estate of someone who has died intestate is far more complex, costly and time-consuming. You can very easily shield your family from any unnecessary distress and expense by putting a legally binding Will in place.

Future Legal Services provides a full Will writing and estate administration service all at fixed rate fees, no hidden charges and no extra costs. Our consultant will come to your home at a time that is convenient for you and the whole process is so quick and simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! Call today on 01322 664885 or email

Recommended Posts