Aretha Franklin. Picture: AP

Aretha Franklin's estate are being sued by her lawyer.

Gregory Reed claims he had trouble collecting what was owed to him by the Queen of Soul - who died in August aged 76 - while she was still alive and has filed documents seeking almost $54,000 to cover legal bills taking back to 2012.

In documents obtained by TMZ, the lawyer's firm claimed they provided a number of services to the 'Natural Woman' singer, including negotiations on her final contract with Atlantic Records, but the last payment they received from her was in August 2012 for around $10,000.

It was revealed last month that the 'I Say a Little Prayer' hitmaker hadn't left a will when she passed away, meaning 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.

Don Wilson - a lawyer based in Los Angeles who worked for Aretha for 30 years - was previously quoted 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."