3 Handwritten Wills Found in Aretha Franklin’s Home

(PONTIAC, Mich.) — Three handwritten wills have been found in the suburban Detroit home of Aretha Franklin, months after the death of the “Queen of Soul,” including one that was discovered under cushions in the living room, a lawyer said Monday.

The latest one is dated March 2014 and appears to give the famous singer’s assets to family members. Some writing is extremely hard to decipher, however, and the four pages have words scratched out and phrases in the margins.

Franklin was 76 when she died last August of pancreatic cancer. Lawyers and family members said at the time that she had no will, but three handwritten versions were discovered earlier this month. Two from 2010 were found in a locked cabinet after a key was located.

The 2014 version was inside a spiral notebook under cushions, said an attorney for Franklin’s estate, David Bennett.

Bennett, who was Franklin’s lawyer for more than 40 years, filed the wills on Monday. He told a judge that he’s not sure if they’re legal under Michigan law. A hearing is scheduled for June 12.

Bennett said the wills were shared with Franklin’s four sons or their lawyers, but that a deal wasn’t reached on whether any should be considered valid. A statement from the estate said two sons object to the wills.

Sabrina Owens, an administrator at the University of Michigan, will continue to serve as personal representative of the estate.

“She remains neutral and wishes that all parties involved make wise choices on behalf of their mother, her rich legacy, the family and the Aretha Franklin estate,” the statement said.

In a separate court filing, son Kecalf Franklin said Aretha Franklin wanted him to serve as representative of the estate in the 2014 will. He is objecting to plans to sell a piece of land next to his mother’s Oakland County home for $325,000.

Judge Jennifer Callaghan in April approved the hiring of experts to appraise Franklin’s assets and personal belongings, including memorabilia, concert gowns and household goods. The Internal Revenue Service is auditing many years of Franklin’s tax returns, according to the estate. It filed a claim in December for more than $6 million in taxes.

Franklin’s star, meanwhile, hasn’t faded since her death. She was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize in April, cited posthumously for her extraordinary career. A 1972 concert film, “Amazing Grace,” was released with much praise from critics.

The estate is involved in “many continuing projects …read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment


Vicki Gunvalson: Dropped From the Real Housewives of Orange County?

Vicki Gunvalson Engaged to Steve Lodge

Is she a Real Housewife or not? This is the burning question srrounding Orange County OG Vicki Gunvalson as we build up to the show’s 14th season.

Since rumors of her demotion sprang up in February, Vicki’s been scrambling to show fans and producers alike that she’s relevant enough to remain a full cast member.

Vicki’s engagement to Steve Lodge in April was her most recent attempt to offer up something, anything, for the series to use as a storyline.

It seemed like the engagement was supposed to save Vicki’s role as a Full Housewife for season 14.

We can even imagine the eventual wedding being perfect fodder for season 15, with a scintillating divorce playing out across later seasons.

Well played, Vicki.

But if Vicki’s role is truly safe, why is she absent from the show’s promotional material?

An inside source told Us Weekly that Vicki was excluded from the rest of the housewives’ group cast photos.

“Last week, the RHOC cast shot their official photos for the next season,” the insider revealed.

“Vicki was not included in the group cast photos and they shot multiple options,” the source continued.

These annual group cast photos are the ones you’ll likely see over and over again throughout the season, wherever the series is advertised.

So it’s a pretty big deal for the show’s longest-running cast member to be missing from the shot.

If the photographers shot mutliple options for the group and didnt include Vicki in any of them, it seems clear that her ouster was intentional.

Although she didn’t pose for the group photo, Vicki was present on the set during the photoshoot, Us Weekly reports.

If she got called to the set, she’s almost sure to appear on the show in some capacity. But it’s looking more likely that she’ll have a reduced role, as fans have speculated

Rumors began to surface in February that Vicki had been demoted to “Friend” of the Housewives, a more ancillary role with presumably less screen time.

It made sense.

Vicki’s been on the show a long time after all, and the show needs to make room for new housewives, like this season’s Braunwyn Windham-Burke.

Vicki also recently squashed her beef with castmates Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador, which is great for their personal lives, but not great for our entertainment.

Shannon has her ongoing divorce drama with David Beador, and Tamra is the kind of walking nightmare that …read more

Source:: The Hollywood Gossip


Under-$50 Must-Haves For A Stylish Beach Weekend

When the mercury begins to hold steady at 70 degrees, a particular type of frenzy takes hold of you. You’re browsing bathing suits, saving pedicure art to Pinterest, and Googling “best beaches near me ” with every free moment you have. It is officially shore season, and you’re absolutely determined to spend as much time sand-bound as possible. You may live in a concrete jungle, but that’s not going to stop you from organizing the coastal carpool during every possible summer weekend. And a long weekend? Forget it: there won’t be anything but crickets and tumbleweeds at your desk come 5 PM. You’re off to that rented seaside bungalow to snatch as much vitamin D as a three-day vacation will allow.

Now, we know your saltwater habit doesn’t come cheap — three months worth of gas, bus tickets, house rentals, grill supplies, and cases of beer will start to add up, and won’t allow a lot of room in the budget for the crucial task of outfitting yourself. But we’re here to let you know that you don’t need to break the bank on oceanfront style essentials — in fact, we’ve found 14 of them that clock in under $50. Whether you’re in the market for that one cute suit that won’t break the bank, or an oversized straw bag to lug around Margaret Atwood’s entire bibliography along with your sunscreen and Smartfood, we’ve got you covered. Click through to check out some stylish purchases to complement your sun-seeking journey this season.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

The temptation to toss a ratty old gym tee over your swimsuit is a legitimate one, but why not choose a kinda-luxe topper that could blend into other areas of your life? A cotton-linen blend tee will hold up to sweat, sun, and sand, but is also substantial enough to wear into the office on the Friday before you leave town.

Anthropologie Bronte Top, $38, available at Anthropologie

It’s not a question of whether or not you’ll be wearing sunglasses between dips — it’s which styles out of your vast collection is going to complete the vacation-defining look. We like this translucent rectangular pair — it’s a nice compromise …read more

Source:: Refinery29