22nd May 2019

Did Aretha Franklin leave a handwritten will? Or several handwritten Wills? That is what the Detroit Free Press is reporting.

Previously Thought No Will

It was previously reported by the same source and others that Aretha Franklin died without a will. The legal term for dying without a will is intestacy or dying intestate – with no last will and testament.

Prior Blog Series on Intestacy

I did a prior blog series at that time on “What Happens If You Die Without a Will Like Aretha Franklin.” You can read each post at the links below, but the basic summary is it affects important areas such as:

Who receives the property you own at death;

Who is in charge of your estate;

Whether you can do estate tax or other tax planning;

Whether you name a guardian for minor children;

Handwritten or Holographic Wills

The discovery of one or more handwritten wills at this stage in the process is certainly an interesting turn of events in an interesting estate. The legal term for a handwritten will is a holographic will. However, under the law not every written instrument left by a decedent counts as a valid will, holographic or otherwise. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and what the legal findings are in this particular case.

New Blog Series

Based on this new development and as a follow up to the prior series of blog posts, there will be some coming blog posts that look at the basics of handwritten or holographic wills in Oklahoma.

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