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An argument is brewing over who should be in charge of Aretha Franklin's estate

A fight is emerging over whether one of Aretha Franklin's sons could be put in charge of the late singer's estate after a handwritten will from 2014 was recently found under cushions in her suburban Detroit home.

Handwritten will found in May suggests late singer wanted son Kecalf Franklin as executor

In this Dec. 4, 2008 file photo, Aretha Franklin performs during the 85th annual Christmas tree lighting at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. The late singer's sons agreed to put another relative in charge of their mother's estate, but a handwritten will discovered last month could change that. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

A fight is emerging over whether one of Aretha Franklin's sons could be put in charge of the late singer's estate after a handwritten will from 2014 was recently found under cushions in her suburban Detroit home.

Attorneys for the estate said in a court filing Monday that "there is no basis to support the assumption" that Kecalf Franklin has the "ability, skill [and] knowledge" to become personal representative, even if the will is determined to be valid.

Franklin's image, music and other assets could turn out to be worth millions of dollars in the years ahead.

Her sons had agreed to put the estate in the hands of Sabrina Owens, a relative who is a university administrator, when no will was found after Franklin's death last August at age 76. But the handwritten document discovered in May could change everything. It appears to shows Franklin wanted Kecalf Franklin to serve as the representative or executor.

A judge in Oakland County, Mich., held a hearing Monday, but a proposed land sale was on the agenda, not the will or other documents written by Franklin. It could take weeks or months to resolve the issue.

Aretha Franklin and her son, Kecalf, are seen in Detroit on June 8, 2017. A handwritten will from 2014 suggests the late singer wanted Kecalf to serve as her executor, but attorneys for her estate are arguing against the idea. (David Guralnick/Detroit News/Associated Press)

Kecalf Franklin, a Christian rap singer, attended the hearing but declined to comment outside court.

He hired a handwriting expert, Erich Speckin, to look at the will. But the expert wasn't allowed to bring his equipment into the courthouse to complete the exam on June 10, attorneys Juanita Gavin Hughes and Charlene Glover-Hogan said in a court filing.

They said Kecalf Franklin should at least be appointed co-personal representative with Owens in the short term. Attorneys for another of Franklin's son, Clarence Franklin, oppose the move, saying Kecalf Franklin is "totally unsuitable."

"That's not up for today," Judge Jennifer Callaghan said.

The estate's attorney, David Bennett, said Owens "has been doing a marvellous job" managing potential business deals involving Franklin's music, life and likeness.

"She is the only one I believe who's capable of continuing that," Bennett told the judge.