DETROIT – Aretha Franklin’s niece is stepping down as personal representative of the late singer’s estate.
Sabrina Garrett Owens was previously named the personal representative for Franklin’s children since the singer’s August 2018 death. Garret gave her two weeks notice on Thursday, according to documents.
In May of last year, three handwritten wills were found in Franklin’s home. The most recent one was dated March 2014. That one appeared to give the singer’s assets to family members.
According to Owens, the discovery of the wills was when the “relationships began to deteriorate with the heirs.” That appears to be the main reason Owens is stepping down from her position. There were multiple legal battles within the family about who has control over Franklin’s legacy.
“My primary goal was to honor my Aunt by handling her business professionally, fairly and within the law. In spite of my best efforts, my role with the Estate has become more contentious with the heirs. Given my Aunt’s deep love of family and desire for privacy, this is not what she would have wanted for us, nor is it what I want. Therefore, I believe it is now time for me to relinquish my role as the Personal Representative and clear the path for the selection of a successor.”
Owens will continue to hold the position for the next two weeks, at this point it’s unclear who will be taking over.