Lassiter & Sperati, PLLC
Schedule Your Initial Consultation 252-557-4582
Lassiter & Sperati, PLLC
Schedule Your Initial Consultation 252-557-4582

Aretha Franklin's holographic wills may cause more trouble

It has been in the news of late that the loved ones of the late Aretha Franklin, the famed Queen of Soul, actually did have three handwritten wills hidden in various locations around her home. Until this discovery, the thought was that she had no estate plan.

Of these three wills, two of them, dating from 2010, were found locked in a cabinet. The remaining will, although written four years later in 2014, was found hidden in the cushions of a couch.

Ms. Franklin remained very discreet about the wealth she had accumulated over the course of her career as a famous Motown artist. She did not create a formal will or even let her long-time lawyer know about the existence of these holographic, or handwritten, wills.

Ms. Franklin's four sons are fighting over the validity and the substance of these wills.

After all, even in states like North Carolina, where holographic wills are technically valid, handwritten estate directives can still raise a lot of difficulties and points of contention during the probate process.

For one, at least in North Carolina, a person still has to satisfy certain conditions before a holographic will can be admitted in to court. Even then, there still might be questions as to the authenticity, timing and overall validity of the will. Moreover, holographic wills may not be drafted in such a way to clearly express what the deceased person wanted.

Although holographic wills can in theory be used in North Carolina, the standard advice for someone who wants to plan an estate would be to create a valid will with the help of an attorney. Holographic wills present special challenges in the probate process that may require litigation to help resolve.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Make Your Appointment

Lassiter & Sperati, PLLC is your source for sound advice, efficient legal services and determined representation. Call us at 252-557-4582 to schedule your initial consultation. You can also email our firm to make your appointment.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Review Our Firm
Email Us Button

Rocky Mount Office
120 North Franklin St.
Suite A
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Phone: 252-557-4582
Fax: 252-972-9822
Rocky Mount Law Office Map

Rocky Mount Office
P.O. Box 4307
Rocky Mount, NC 27803

Phone: 252-557-4582
Map & Directions

  • Visa icon
  • MasterCard icon
  • American Express icon
  • Discover icon