Even divas need a professional will
In previous articles I have set out the advantages of a professionally-drawn will and being clear with beneficiaries and family as to a will’s existence, provisions and locations.
Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul”, died last year and it was thought at the time that she died intestate (without a will), but three handwritten wills have recently been found at her home.
The BBC has reported that two wills, dated 2010, were located in a locked cabinet after a key was found, and another, written in a spiral notebook and dated 2014, was found under some cushions. The writing was described as “very hard to decipher…words scratched out and phrases written in the margins.”
Ms. Franklin’s lawyer has filed all three wills but said he is not sure if they are valid under Michigan Law. A dispute is brewing within her family regarding the wills.
It is very unusual for wills and the consequences that may follow them, to be publicised in such a way, but this case does demonstrate the virtues of a will with clear and precise provisions and that is validly created according to the law. Having (sometimes difficult) discussions before death with those to be left behind regarding what is in the will and where it can be located upon death, can save a lot of stress and expense. Wills can be safely held by solicitors, adding piece of mind for the testator.
If you would like advice about your will or how to store it safely, GA Solicitors’ wills, trusts and probate department can help you. If you have any questions about the validity of a will or how you can contest one, our wills, inheritance and trust disputes team can help you through the process.