Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will

Aretha Franklin reportedly left no will behind before she passed away on Aug. 16.

The Queen of Soul passed away on Aug. 16 after a long battle with advanced pancreatic cancer and a few days after reports first surfaced that her illness would take her life.

According to TMZ, the singer died "intestate," meaning she had no will at the time of her death. She had a net worth of $80 million according to

The outlet notes how surprising the singer's lack of a will is considering she has a special needs son named Clarence, who will need financial and other forms of support for his entire life.

Despite being ill or a few years, the singer did not leave behind a legal document to distribute her wealth. According to Michigan law, the singer's four kids will share equally in her estate.

The singer died on the same day as Elvis Presley 41 years ago, as previously reported.

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart," Franklin's family said. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds."

The statement continued, "We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

Born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin and her family moved to Detroit when she was 4, where her father became a prominent black Baptist preacher. She began singing gospel music and became a star on gospel caravan tours with her father, who became her manager when she was 14.

In the late 1960s, Franklin saw success with "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" and "Respect," an Otis Redding cover that quickly took on its own life as a No. 1 hit. "Respect" became a soundtrack for both the civil rights and female-empowerment movements.


The song marked the first of Franklin's 18 Grammy Awards. It was just the beginning of her success, as it was followed by hits like "Chain of Fools," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Spanish Harlem," "Think" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

Aretha's family has scheduled a multiple-day celebration of her life next week, beginning with an open casket memorial at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Her funeral will then be held August 31 at the Greater Grace Temple —– though that event will be exclusive to close friends and family.