Now that the legend’s wills have been discovered, it’s up to the courts and her sons to decipher them. Photo: Angello Picco/REX/Shutterstock When Aretha Franklin died in 2018 at the age of 76 , her family believed she hadn’t left behind a will . That would have made things fairly easy for her four sons — Clarence, Edward, Teddy, and Kecalf — as Michigan law declares that each of them would inherit a quarter of the estate, leaving them to decide the particulars among themselves. But then, in a mid-May plot twist, Franklin’s family discovered three wills handwritten by the Queen of Soul : Two dating from 2010 were locked away in a cabinet, and another from 2014 was found in a spiral notebook left under a couch cushion. Though fairly detailed and seemingly fair to each of her sons, the wills are now headed to court over questions about their validity and details, some of which contradict each other or are too difficult to decipher because of Franklin’s scribbled penmanship. It appears that Franklin’s estate won’t be nearly as complicated as the mess Prince left behind (with all of his sibling drama and extremely convoluted finances, which included hefty tax bills and a trove of unreleased recordings), but there are still plenty of questions. Just as we did with the Purple One’s complex legacy, Vulture is attempting to break down what Franklin’s wills mean for her estate, how any of this might get settled in or out of court, and what the last testaments reveal about her life — such as the paternity of one of her children and which employees she felt the need to take a few digs at. The Wills Both newly discovered wills have a few things in common. Aretha says she’s of “sound mind,” though she notes in her 2010 will that she wasn’t completely of sound “body,” having high blood pressure and a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor that caused her to cancel tour dates that year and ultimately proved fatal. Another document included with that will states … [Read more...] about Aretha Franklin’s Handwritten Wills Are Detailed, Funny, and Legally Messy
Childrens legal rights
This year’s $205,000 consolation prize. Photo: Courtesy of Distinctive Assets Last weekend’s Oscars left us all with a few gifts — Daniel Kaluuya’s homage to sex , Youn Yuh-jung being Youn Yuh-jung , and that clip of Glenn Close dancing to “Da Butt ” — but some of stars went home with literal presents via an “Everybody Wins” gift bag from Distinctive Assets, a company that is unaffiliated with the Academy and in its 19th year of giving. While stars often receive gifts at other awards shows, the Oscars bags tend to attract special attention for their sheer opulence. Forbes estimated that this year’s freebies — which include celebrity-trainer workout sessions, a liposuction procedure, a three-night retreat on a Swedish island, and a card for a commemorative gold NFT of Chadwick Boseman’s head — total $205,000 a bag. For a chance at the exposure that a celebrity’s name can bring (and the annual fascination over what expensive things the rich people got this year), brands pay thousands to donate their products and services if they are chosen to be featured in the bag. While the Academy is no longer involved with the annual gift-giving, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, up until 2006, the organization played a key role in the gift-giving on Hollywood’s biggest night. Here’s the full history of the lavish gifting tradition, including a tax dispute with the IRS, a Bette Midler award loss, a lawsuit over trademark infringement, and a man known as the “Sultan of Swag.” In 1989, Taylor Swift was born, George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st president, and, according to Reuters , the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was quietly beginning to give out thank-you gifts to the presenters and performers at its annual Oscars awards show. The practice continued for years, becoming increasingly competitive as brands (who were not charged a fee to donate) realized the power of celebrity exposure. One company told the LA Business Journal … [Read more...] about The 2021 Oscars Gift Bag Was Worth $205,000. How Did We Get Here?
Photo: Courtesy of Sundance The Sundance Film Festival is once again upon us. Actors are becoming feature directors (Rupert Everett, Paul Dano, Ethan Hawke, Idris Elba). Comedies are being conflated with dramas. And Ann Dowd and Andrea Riseborough are lacing up their snow boots to walk to a lot of press events. (They will appear in a combined seven movies at the Park City fest.) Some new careers will be jump-started, while other industry veterans will acquire a fresh patina of indie credibility, and every movie will be racing to catch Sorry to Bother You , which has the inside lane on all other competitors in the U.S. Dramatic category. But why is it the front-runner when all we have are a bunch of brief plot synopses and some cast lists? Because, “In a speculative and dystopian not-too-distant future, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success — which propels him into a macabre universe.” The movie, which was written and directed by Boots Riley, also stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, and Omari Hardwick. Our apologies to everyone not involved in the making of Sorry to Bother , and we wish you all the best of luck in January. U.S. Dramatic Competition American Animals (Director and screenwriter: Bart Layton) — The unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier. World premiere. Blaze (Director: Ethan Hawke) — A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement; he gave up paradise for the sake of a song. Cast: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton. World premiere. Blindspotting (Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada) — A buddy comedy in a world that won’t let it be one. Cast: … [Read more...] about The 2018 Sundance Lineup Has Been Announced