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Aretha Franklin Was Running Around With Almost $1 Million in Uncashed Checks

Illustration for article titled Aretha Franklin Was Running Around With Almost $1 Million in Uncashed Checks
Image: AP

Aretha Franklin’s financial situation is a source of endless wonders. She left multiple wills—one hidden in her couch! The purse that she almost always had by her side in public (even when performing) was said to contain wads of cash. For decades, financial matters held up the release of the documentary Amazing Grace (whose contents Franklin had no issue with)—it finally came out last year, a few months after she died. And now, there is news that the greatest singer of all time had $1 million in uncashed checks before she died.


Says Billboard:

Aretha Franklin had almost of $1 million in uncashed checks in her possession at the time of her death, according to newly filed court papers. The checks were discovered during an inventory of Franklin’s possessions, adding a new twist to the battle over the Queen of Soul’s estate.

An inventory following her death found that Franklin had a check for $702,711.90 from Sound Exchange and Screen Writers Guild as well as uncashed checks to her publishing company, Springtime Publishing, from EMI, BMI, Carlin Music and Feel Good Films in the amount of $285,944.27. In total, $988,656.17 in uncashed checks were found.


The papers were filed as part of the ongoing process of divvying up Franklin’s assets, which has been complicated by unrest between Franklin’s four surviving sons and the personal representative of her estate, Sabrina Owens (cousin of Aretha Franklin’s son Kecalf Franklin). Initially after Aretha’s death, no will was found and it was assumed that she didn’t leave one.

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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This makes me sad. The uncashed checks thing plus the will means that she didn’t have someone taking care of her affairs. That shouldn’t be happening with a woman in her 70s whose been ill for some time. Add the cash thing, and it just makes me think a certain person I know who grew up poor with trauma and so stashes money everywhere like a demented hairless squirrel. Poor Aretha.