Franklin’s attorney says at this point it’s impossible to place a dollar figure on the value of her song catalog.
The finances of an intensely private Aretha Franklin soon will become very public in Oakland County Probate Court because she apparently left no will or trust.
Her four sons filed a document Tuesday afternoon listing themselves as interested parties in her estate. Franklin’s niece Sabrina Owens asked the court to appoint her as personal representative of the estate. The case is assigned to Judge Jennifer Callaghan.
“I was after her for a number of years to do a trust,” said Los Angeles attorney Don Wilson, who represented Franklin in entertainment matters for the past 28 years. “It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate, and kept things private.”
As Franklin’s attorney in copyright matters, song publishing and record deals, Wilson said he would have been consulted about her holdings for any estate planning purposes.
Wilson said that at this point it’s impossible to place a dollar figure on the value of her song catalog. He did say that she maintained ownership of her original compositions, which include well-known hits such as “Think” and “Rock Steady.”