The sad saga of Aretha Franklin's allegedly mishandled estate gets sadder.
A niece is described as zipping around in her late aunt's 2014 Mercedes Benz. And a longtime attorney billed the estate for more than $394,000 this past year, according to allegations reported by The Detroit News. They're from Oakland Probate Court documents and a lawyer for one Franklin's heirs.
Those are just a couple weighty legal matters Charlene Glover-Hogan, who represents Kecalf Franklin, one of Franklin's four sons, would like to see addressed in what she described as "gross mismanagement" by Sabrina Garrett-Owens, Aretha Franklin’s niece, who abruptly resigned last week as the estate's personal representative.
Glover-Hogan will be in court Tuesday before Judge Jennifer Callaghan seeking a resolution to legal questions surrounding the estate of the Queen of Soul, who died Aug. 16, 2018, at the age of 76. Franklin left no will and legal battles are still being fought over her sizable estate.
The son's Southfield attorney tells Mike Martindale of the paper that Franklin "would be livid if she lived to see what was happening." Glover-Hogan adds:
"We are glad [Garrett-Owens] is stepping aside. We proposed that over a year ago and had taken steps to force her out. ...
"The only people who have benefited from the estate is her and her attorney, who has filed excessive fees. ... The heirs have been consistently mistreated and ignored like they're someone off the street. These are her [four] sons."
Garrett-Owens is represented by David Bennett of Bingham Farms, who handled legal matters for Franklin for three decades, Martindale writes. The estate has more than $17 million in cash and property, court filings say.
The son's lawyer has asked Callaghan to remove Bennett from any estate role.