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Aretha Franklin's Son Demands Answers About $1 Million in Uncashed Checks

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By Ryan Naumann

Aretha Franklin’s son is trying to find answers about nearly $1 million his mother left behind in uncashed checks.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Kecalf Franklin is back in court demanding the personal representative of Aretha’s estate answer questions. Kecalf and the personal representative, Sabrina Owens (who is also his cousin), are battling it out over control of the estate. Kecalf has been attempting to remove Owens and place himself in charge of all matters.

In newly filed documents, Kecalf continues to press his belief that Owens has not performed the duties of a personal representative and failed to keep Aretha’s heirs in the loop of important business decisions and inventory of her property and assets.

He accuses Owens of handing over an incomplete list of Aretha’s inventory which failed to include “bank statements, tax bills or appraisals of the value of the homes or blue book values for the vehicles.”

Kecalf also has questions about uncashed personal checks from Sound Exchange (music royalties) and Screen Writers Guild in the amount of $702,711.90 and uncashed checks from EMI and other music companies in the amount of $285,944.27. The total amount of uncashed checks comes to $988,656.17.

He claims Owens has failed to give an accurate description of the assets owned by Aretha on the date of her death.

Kecalf is demanding the court not quash the subpoenas he fired off for Aretha’s financial records from her attorney, and the lawyer made to turn over the records.

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Gettyimages | Hulton Archive

Earlier this year, Kecalf Franklin went to court to file docs seeking to take complete control of Aretha’s estate and sought for Owens to be removed ASAP.

He accused her of mismanaging the estate and failing to perform her duties. Kecalf requested the judge appoint him as the successor and allow him to completely manage all aspects of Franklin’s business.

Gettyimages | Theo Wargo

Kecalf claimed Owens has failed to provide the heirs any accounting or inventory of his mother’s property and assets. He wants to a full list of her jewelry, masters, Grammys, gold records and other awards.

He called Owens out for not communicating about the new business deals being negotiated. Kecalf claimed to know nothing about the announced television show Genius and the scheduled MGM biopic about Aretha’s life.

Gettyimages | Ron Howard

The heir even claimed they have been given no information about the investigation of her music catalog worth or the investigation of forgery of her checks. He also wants information about the audits being done on her IRS tax returns from 2012 – 2018.

Gettyimages | Cindy Ord

Owens fired back denying Kecalf’s allegations she has left the heirs in the dark. She claims to be handling all responsibilities of the estate on time and properly.

She said inventory hasn’t been done yet but blamed the heirs for delays. Owens was adamant Kecalf and the other siblings have been updated constantly about the business affairs.

Owens also revealed since police did not press charges over alleged stolen property of Franklins, the estate is preparing a civil lawsuit. She asked the court to deny all requests by Kecalf and keep her on.

As The Blast previously reported, the estate rep recently claimed to have found three handwritten wills that Franklin left in secret spots around her home.

Aretha’s son Edward Franklin also filed docs backing his brother Kecalf in the move to remove the current personal representative of the estate and put himself in charge.

A judge has yet to make a decision.

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