Aretha Franklin’s youngest son fights for control of her estate

The late R&B legend wanted Kecalf Franklin to represent her estate, according to a will found in May.

A fight has emerged for control of the estate of the late Aretha Franklin, who died last August.

The soul legend’s youngest son, Kecalf Franklin, has filed two court petitions to take control of his mother’s estate, after three wills were found at the late singer’s suburban Detroit home. The estate⁠—which comprises the icon’s image, music and other holdings⁠—is said to be “worth millions of dollars in the years ahead,” according to Billboard.

If successful, Kecalf will become co-representative of the estate—alongside Franklin’s niece, Sabrina Owens, who was appointed last year—before eventually becoming the sole executor. He claims that Owens has “mismanaged the estate” and “failed to perform a duty pertaining to office,” CNN reported.


Franklin’s sons had initially agreed to place the estate in Owens’ hands when no will was found after the legend’s death. But last month, three handwritten documents were discovered, the latest one dated March 2014, which reportedly shows that the late singer wanted Kecalf Franklin to serve as the estate’s representative, according to The New York Times.

The estate’s attorneys have argued that “there is no basis to support the assumption” that Kecalf has the “ability, skill [and] knowledge” to become the estate’s representative, even if the wills were valid.

Attorneys for Franklin’s eldest son, Clarence Franklin, have also spoken out against Kecalf’s petitions. In a statement, they described Kecalf as “totally unsuitable” for the position.


Kecalf has hired a handwriting expert to assess the admissibility of the wills, but the examination has not been completed.

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