Aretha's lack of a will could make things rocky for heirs

Stevie Wonder closed the tributes to Aretha Franklin

Franklin was honored with a star-studded Celebration of Life at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple, two weeks after her death on August 16. Gospel music and opera filled the rafters, congregants danced and one of her sons sang "Mercy Mercy Me". Singer Jennifer Hudson was reportedly handpicked by Franklin to play her in an upcoming biopic.

Rather than mourning a loss, Franklin's funeral celebrated her life and legacy, personal and professional milestones and how much she loved her family.

Under Michigan law, as in most states, the sons will equally divide their mother's assets in the absence of a will, and so far no signs of conflict have emerged among family members.

"I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive", says Don Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer who worked on entertainment matters for Franklin for almost 30 years. Clarence, range in age from 48 to 63, and her eldest is represented by a guardian.

After Aretha Franklin's family paid their final respects to the legendary singer on Friday, attention turned to the unpleasant job of dividing her fortune. And a niece of hers has accepted the role of executor.

"I hope God will forgive me but I was so glad when I got here, and I hope you will forgive me, when the casket was still open because I said I wonder what my friend's got on today", he said to laughter. "You will also meet some people that will have the best investments in the world for you", he said.

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"Through her voice, her own voice, Aretha lifted those of millions - empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love", read his message. She then went on to win seven Grammy awards later on in her career. The lion's share of royalties for the smash hit "Respect" has gone to the songwriter, the estate of soul singer Otis Redding.

In a 12-minute tribute, Clinton said the secret to Franklin's greatness was that she took her talent "and chose to be the composer of her own life's song - and what a song it turned out to be".

"[.] hug all the female artists and the male artists".

Ellis III of the Greater Grace Temple was criticized by many social media users for appearing to touch the side of the Grammy-nominated artist's breast after she sang at the funeral in Detroit on Friday.

Wilson, her entertainment attorney, says she would not have wanted to see her finances publicly aired: "She was a private person". The eldest, Ted White Jr.

How Aretha cared about the city that raised her, how she fed the homeless, helped people in need, and would often do it anonymously. "To accept that and put it on paper can be hard for a parent".

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