JUSTICE FOR THE QUEEN
Honor the last wishes of our Queen
“Justice For The Queen” is a statement from the Franklin family to anyone who contests Aretha Franklin's last wishes being honored and justly executed by the court. This is a basic civil right that should be afforded to all Americans especially an Icon and activist such as Aretha.
Every American citizen should agree that they would want that basic right honored for themselves. However, THREE YEARS after her death, we find ourselves still engaged in a legal battle to make her last wishes a reality.
FRANKLIN FAMILY LEGACY
From her time growing up in the home of a prominent African-American preacher to the end of her life, Franklin was immersed and involved in the struggle for civil rights and women's rights. She provided money for civil rights groups, at times covering payroll, and performed at benefits and protests. When Angela Davis was jailed in 1970, Franklin told Jet: "Angela Davis must go free ... Black people will be free. I've been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can't get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I'm going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she's a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people".[ Her songs "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" became anthems of these movements for social change. Franklin and several other American icons declined to take part in performing at President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration as a large-scale act of musical protest.
Franklin was also a strong supporter for Native American rights. She quietly and without fanfare supported Indigenous Peoples' struggles worldwide, and numerous movements that supported Native American and First Nation cultural rights. (Wikipedia quote excerpt)
In the spirit of our Queens life long fight for justice and equality for our people, we fight for the personal civil right of the queen herself to have her last wishes excepted and honored.
No One Should be Silenced
On Aug. 17, 2018 — the day after Franklin’s passing — three of the four siblings were called into David Bennett’s office, where they were made to sign documents and agreed that their cousin, Garrett-Owens, would manage the estate.
They were still mourning,they were confused and they also trusted her to do the right thing.
A total of $586,566 has been paid out in legal fees from the estate, which had itemized assets of cash and property of more than $17 million, according to court records.
That figure is conservative if you take into account ongoing sales and royalties of Franklin’s vast catalog of recordings.
Bennett’s law firm, Thav Gross, was in possession of $988,000 in uncashed checks sent to Franklin, according to court records, primarily from royalties. The law firm had also reportedly possessed Franklin’s clothing, jewelry, furs, and a fleet of cars, all of which were supposed to have been stored in a “secure, neutral location.”
One vehicle, a 2014 Mercedes Benz valued at $55,000, became the property of Garrett-Owens, who signed over the title to herself and her husband. She also had extensive repair work done on the vehicle, which along with auto insurance, was all paid with estate money. The vehicle was later re-possessed by the estate.
In legal filings, the request was made by two of the heirs, Kecalf and Edward, of Judge Callaghan to remove both Garrett-Owens and Bennett from their estate duties.
Garrett-Owens, an administrator at the University of Michigan, said in her letter that she only agreed to manage the estate providing things remained civil between her and the heirs. She wrote that handwritten Will found hidden in Franklin’s home last year had caused bad feelings among the brothers.
However, the heirs Kecalf and Edward said the 2014 Will brought them "clarity".
“I hope that my departure will allow the business of the estate to continue, calm the rift in my family and allow me to return to my personal life, "I love my cousins, hold no animosity towards them, and wish them the best.”
Probate law does not permit Garrett-Owens to just walk away from the estate leaving important questions about it unanswered, including book and film projects she approved.
March 4th, 2020 Garrett-Owens and David Bennett were removed by the court with pending litigation involving estate accounting discrepancies.
Other litigation involves a request from an attorney representing Jon Munger, the guardian of another heir, Clarence Franklin, to decide the reliability of the hand-written Will separate from other issues. Kecalf responded by hiring a handwriting specialist that verified the authenticity of Franklin's 2014 Holographic Will. Kecalf and Edward Franklin want the Will in question, to be resolved with other issues in one trial. Ultimately, Kecalf and Edward want their moms last wishes to be admitted and honored by the court.
EPIC - ESTATES AND PROTECTED INDIVIDUALS CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 386 of 1998
700.2502 Execution; witnessed wills; holographic wills.
Sec. 2502. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) and in sections 2503, 2506, and 2513, a will is valid
only if it is all of the following:
(a) In writing.
(b) Signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious
presence and by the testator's direction.
(c) Signed by at least 2 individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he or she
witnessed either the signing of the will as described in subdivision (b) or the testator's acknowledgment of
that signature or acknowledgment of the will.
(2) A will that does not comply with subsection (1) is valid as a holographic will, whether or not
witnessed, if it is dated, and if the testator's signature and the document's material portions are in the testator's
(3) Intent that the document constitutes a testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including,
for a holographic will, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.
History: 1998, Act 386, Eff. Apr. 1, 2000
PROBATE LAW SUPPORTS OUR QUEEN!!!!
WHO IS CONTESTING THE QUEENS LAST WISHES
Ted White Jr. is Aretha's third son. His father Ted White Sr. is the owner of Fourteenth Hour Publishing.
Fourteenth Hour Publishing is co owner to the publishing rights for some of Aretha's greatest hits. Ted Jr is now managing "Fourteenth Hour publishing" company. Ted is most recognized for playing guitar on tour with Aretha during the 90's. Ted eventually settled down in Florida and until recently has been estranged from Aretha and the family for several years.
Jon B Munger is currently the guardian of Clarence Franklin Aretha's oldest son. It is still unclear how Jon Munger obtained this position. However, Jon Munger is known to have a strong influence in Oakland county family courts. He is also a longtime business associate of David Bennett. There have been several publications released of Jon Munger committing the most egregious violations as a guardian.
Munger was previously employed as a Michigan State Public Administrator/Guardian before being terminated for several violations during his tenure. Munger claims he is contesting the Will on Clarence's behalf despite, the fact that Clarence has expressed he strongly disagrees. Jon Munger, as guardian and conservator over Clarence's affairs will have full control of Clarence's inheritance if the 2014 Will is not admitted.
For more public information on Munger's record click on one of the buttons below
JUSTICE FOR THE QUEEN
How you can help?
Our family has been devastated from the loss of our mother and grandmother. We have yet to have the time or space to properly grieve our loss. We have been diligently engaged in this battle to safeguard her legacy for two years. We realize and appreciate that Aretha has the most genuine, loyal and dedicated fans/friends. If you are outraged by the previous facts presented and agree that Aretha's last wishes should rightfully and expediently be honored, we ask that you make your voice known for the Queen. Aretha gifted us so much with her voice over the years, on behalf of the Queen we request that you make your voice heard for Aretha by contacting the office of Michigan Governor Whitmer and request swift justice for the Queen!
Formal request: (copy and paste)
We the people request that the "National Treasure" Aretha Franklin's last wishes contained in her 2014 Will be admitted and honored by the courts."
You can reach the executive office by phone, Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at 517-335-7858 or Share your opinion on https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/