When Aretha Franklin died on 16 August 2018 she apparently died intestate (without a Will). 6 months after Aretha’s death, 3 Wills were found under the cushions in a lounge. Not all of these Wills were signed, and some had handwritten amendments.
Fast forward another 5 months and a further Will together with an additional document outlining the terms of a trust was discovered. Both documents are unsigned and undated.
The dilemma for the Courts in the United States is to establish whether any of the documents can formally stand as a Will. Despite the latest discovered Will being unsigned, it could dictate the terms of Ms Franklin’s estate if evidence shows that she intended it as such.
If you have a Will and you wish to make changes, it is important that you do not make handwritten notes on the original. This could invalidate the document if you do not get around to making a new Will. It is also important that should you make a new Will, provision is made cancelling any other Will you have already made.
Remember, if you die and your Executors discover more than one Will in existence, the Estate will bear the costs of expensive Court proceedings to decide which Will is to be administered.