Aretha Franklin died without a will.

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

The 'I Say a Little Prayer' hitmaker passed away last month at the age of 76 but her four sons - Clarence, 63, Edward, 61, Ted, 54, and Kecalf, 48 - may have to wait years to find out how much of their mother's estate they're entitled to as she reportedly failed to write a testament outlining her wishes prior to her death.

Don Wilson - a lawyer based in Los Angeles who worked for Aretha for 30 years - is quoted by the Guardian newspaper as saying: "I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive.

"She never told me, 'No, I don't want to do one.' She understood the need. It just didn't seem to be something she got around to."

Aretha owned her estate, several properties in Detroit and maintained ownership of the songs she wrote - except her most popular singles like 'Respect'.

Kenneth Abdo - who has worked on the estate of Prince, who also died without a will in 2016 - has said the Internal Revenue Service will carry out an audit.

Mr Wilson added: "She was a private person."

Aretha - who died from pancreatic cancer - was laid to rest at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple, nearly two weeks after she passed away, last week.

Family and friends joined celebrity mourners at the service, which was officiated by Bishop Charles H. Ellis III.

Asking the congregation to stand up and applaud Aretha's family, he said: "This family has shared their mother, their grandmother, their aunt, their cousin with the entire world. Let us all stand and thank them for sharing her with us."

The congregation was moved by performances by the likes of Faith Hill, who sang 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' and Ariana Grande, who performed Aretha's hit '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' whilst pink Cadillacs lined up outside Greater Grace Temple as a final tribute to Aretha.

During the service, Mike Duggan, the Detroit mayor, revealed he is planning to rename Chene Park after Aretha - providing the proposal is accepted by the council.

He told the crowd: "Our beautiful waterfront jewel will be Aretha Franklin Park and when performers from generations to come from around the world come here they will be reminded they are performing at the home of the 'Queen of Soul.'"