Aretha Franklin’s Multi-Million Real Estate Holdings

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Aretha Franklin
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The Queen of Soul’s death on August 16 was a tragedy for her family, her fans, music lovers, and civil rights activists. Aretha Franklin’s music legacy is unparalleled, but her real estate holdings were pretty epic, too. She owned multiple properties in the Detroit area, totaling around $4 million. Her entire estate is estimated to be worth $80 million.

Downtown Detroit Condo

Aretha Franklin owned 5 homes throughout Michigan, including the condo downtown Detroit condo where she most recently lived. Her unit in the massive Riverfront Towers complex is likely worth between $200,000 and $300,000, based on sale prices in the last 6 months.

Bloomfield Hills Homes

The largest home she owned was a 4,700-square-foot property in Bloomfield Hills. The 3-bedroom, 5-bathroom home is valued at around $1.3 million. She owned an additional home less than five miles away, also in Bloomfield Hills. The other property—a 4,100-square-foot home with 5 bedrooms and an impressive 7 bathrooms—was valued at about $1.2 million.

Aretha Franklin owned a third Bloomfield Hills home, a small 2-bedroom house estimated to be worth $267,000.

Highland Park Properties

Unlike many superstars who own properties in different parts of the country (or the globe), Aretha Franklin kept all of her real estate in Michigan. In addition to the condo and 3 homes in Bloomfield Hills, she also owned a single-family home in Highland Park plus an undeveloped plot. Both properties are near the exclusive Detroit Golf Club.

Her Childhood Home

Plans are in the works to turn the childhood home of Aretha Franklin into a memorial and museum. The tiny cottage where she was born still stands in Memphis, TN, in a neighborhood appropriately called Soulsville. Developers would also like to honor her father, the Reverend CL Franklin. Like his daughter, he was a singer and activist as well as a preacher, who was known as the man with the million-dollar voice. It’s fascinating to see the difference between her humble beginnings and the impressive real estate portfolio she held at the time of her death.

Where’s the Will?

Despite being diagnosed with a terminal illness before her passing, Aretha Franklin did not leave a will. Her estate will likely be divided between her 4 sons. That includes her real estate holdings as well as her music catalog. Since she did not leave a will, the process will take longer than it would have otherwise. They’ll also have to pay significantly higher taxes and probate on their inheritance since her estate was not put into a trust.

Interestingly enough, when Prince passed away in 2016, he also failed to leave a will. His $200 million estate was divided between his siblings.