Her heirs won't have it so simple. Since Franklin's August 16 death at 76, Owens said a close group she described as "Aretha's angels" have "worked tirelessly" and have been guided by a single question: "What would Aretha want?"
The question of what happens to Franklin's sizeable estate remains murky.
"I tried to convince her that she should do not just a will but a trust while she was still alive", Don Wilson, one of Franklin's lawyers for nearly three decades, told the AP.
"She stood right up and said, "How you doin" baby?' And I said, 'Well, I'm doing better now".
"She worked her can off to get where she was", Clinton said. "She's everything to me, like my mother", said Ugochi Queen, a 46-year-old Franklin tribute artist dressed in black ruffles from Gary, Indiana, who got in line at 4:00 am. "He had plenty of conversations with me about estate planning but would not sign the documents". Clarence Franklin, the eldest, has special needs and is represented by a legal guardian. And a niece of hers has accepted the role of executor. According to intestate succession laws in MI - the state in which the singer lived most of her life, and where she died - her four children should receive equal shares of her estate. Bennett did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
"We're thankful for all Aretha Franklin has done for this city and the people of church", Rev. Lodge said.
"Remember your family, and friends that have been with you for years", Moten told the men. If you can avoid court proceedings, you want to avoid court proceedings.
The singer maintained ownership of songs she wrote, but some of her most famous hits, like "Respect", were owned by other writers or performers, and any money from royalties would go to them. The Welsh Guards Band performed a rendition of her song, Respect, during the changing of the guard ceremony. In the case of "Respect", the royalties go to the estate of Otis Redding, even though the song owes almost all its popularity to Franklin.
The denominational differences don't really matter too much given how Franklin broke across musical and religious barriers with her art, said local pastors.
Among Franklin's more tangible assets are several pieces of property in the Detroit area that according to tax assessors' estimates are worth at least $2 million, with a market value that could easily be twice that.
"I'm so proud of you, I know you'll be watching me from the windows of heaven and I promise to carry our family legacy with pride", said Franklin's very emotional grandson Jordan, tearing up.
He said she was the "soundtrack of the civil rights movement", before adding: "She fought the good fight". Yet the Queen of Soul's final send-off on Friday certainly will encompass many elements, emotions and grand entrances that were hallmarks of her more than six decades on sacred and secular stages.
As for why some clients don't make out a will, Zwicker said some heirs, like Franklin's son Clarence, may need more than others, and that can be a hard and touchy decision for a parent. "To accept that and put it on paper can be hard for a parent".