A year after Aretha Franklin died, court documents portray a confused estate case. She had left no will, and then three were found. At least one of the singer's four sons says there still hasn't been a complete inventory of the state provided to her heirs. Now, nearly $1 million in uncashed checks has been discovered, Billboard reports. The checks, made out to Franklin and to her publishing company, add up to $988,656.17. This may not have been unusual. A filing by her son Kecalf said a bank reported cases in which checks had gone uncashed since 2012 and had to be reissued in 2016.
Among the people who want something from Franklin's estate is a former president. Barack Obama has asked for the silver bow hat she wore when she performed "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at his inauguration in 2009, per the New York Times. The hat was designed by her friend Luke Song of Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit, per WXYZ, and includes Swarovski crystals. Obama was a fan of the Queen of Soul. Franklin's performance of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center in 2015 brought the president to tears. He joined a standing ovation, per Rolling Stone, that began well before she finished the song. (Read more Aretha Franklin stories.)