Tag Archives: Michael Jackson Estate

Top 5 Legal Challenges Facing Michael Jackson’s Estate Executors

Many people never stop to think of how hard a job it is to administer the estate or trust of someone who passes away.  Often, it’s a thankless job, filled with headaches.  That’s certainly been the case for the Michael Jackson Estate executors: entertainment attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain.  Well, at least the headache part.Michael Jackson's Estate Executors

Here are the top 5 legal challenges and complications that the Michael Jackson estate executors have had to worry about in the last few months alone:

1.  The AEG Wrongful Death Trial:  It’s a Thriller!

Now nearing the five-month mark since opening statements, the heirs of Michael Jackson vs. AEG trial has been filled with twists and turns, from Lionel Richie’s ex talking to the King of Pop’s ghost to Jackson’s childhood friendship with a mouse (as revealed by the Rolling Stone).

Where is the case now?  Heading to the jury.  While many in the media were quick to report how the Judge recently dismissed two AEG executives from the case, Read more...

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Is Promoter AEG Responsible For Michael Jackson’s Death?

Concert promoter AEG is on the defensive after the Los Angeles Times recently published confidential emails about AEG’s role in the cause of Michael Jackson’s death. The New York Daily News revealed more of the emails in a second article this weekend.  Michael Jackson’s death

Together, the emails paint a picture of AEG demanding that the concert tour go on, despite knowing the extremely fragile state Michael Jackson was in at the time.

But what does it all mean, legally?  Should AEG be found liable for Michael Jackson’s death?

Katherine Jackson and other family members sued AEG, blaming them for controlling and failing to supervise Dr. Conrad Murray, thereby causing Jackson’s death.  AEG denies it controlled or supervised Murray at all.  They say he was Jackson’s personal physician and he alone was responsible.

Whether that’s true or not, AEG was clearly involved in some manner.  The Daily News revealed the most telling of the emails that have been publicly disclosed so far, about AEG’s role in Michael Jackson’s death:

Kenny Ortega

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Michael Jackson’s Estate: Siblings Promise New Fight Over His Estate

Michael Jackson’s estate faced a tumultuous beginning three years ago after he unexpectedly died.  First his mother, Katherine, and then his father, Joe, filed challenges against the executors of his Estate, John Branca and John McClain.   Katherine backed off her attack and Joe’s case was thrown out of court.  Michael Jackson's estate
Since then, the Estate has been relatively peaceful, at least on the surface.  Branca and McClain have led the Estate from a debt-ridden start to enormous profits.  They began around $500 million in the red when the King of Pop died.  Three years later, Michael Jackson’s estate reported $475 million in profits.
Of course, Branca and McClain have enjoyed a huge financial windfall from this as well.  They have a special arrangement, blessed by the probate judge who oversees the estate, allowing them to earn 10% from most deals they cut for the Estate.  Branca and McClain are now facing a new attack over their handling of the Estate.

Several of Michael’s brothers and sisters — including Janet, Randy, Tito and Read more...

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Michael Jackson Estate Faces $17.5 Million Insurance Fight

Legal controversy has surrounded the Michael Jackson Estate ever since he died almost two years ago. Trial & Heirs did a year in review article last year; it’s almost time for year two. You can now add a new lawsuit — over $17.5 million worth of insurance — to the list. Michael Jackson Estate

Concert promoter AEG Live took out the large insurance policy over Michael Jackson in case he died and was unable to perform the “This Is It” concert tour. Of course, that’s exactly what happened, showing that AEG was smart to take that precaution. Reportedly, AEG spent some $20 to $25 million on the tour before the King of Pop’s death, and this insurance was supposed to protect that investment. Both AEG and a Michael Jackson limited liability company that is controlled by the Estate were named as beneficiaries eligible to collect that money under the policy.

Michael Jackson Estate Insurance Claim Update

But, AEG and the Estate haven’t collected this money yet … and both are now embroiled in Read more...

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Michael Jackson’s Estate Battles Heal the World Charity

A big trial is set to begin in late April, pitting the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate against the operator of the Heal the World charitable foundation. The charity has many supporters, including Michael Jackson’s parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson.

Not only has Katherine supported the charity against the executors, but she did so with a surprising attack against John Branca, the lawyer who is one of two estate executors.

Katherine Jackson has battled with the executors before, but it all seemed resolved in late 2009 after her surprising change of heart. But clearly, there is plenty of fighting left!

What did Katherine Jackson say, under oath, to support this charity? Is this is a sign of more fighting yet to come? What could have been done differently in Michael Jackson’s estate planning to prevent this fight?

Danielle and Andy Mayoras of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! answer these questions and more, including revealing exactly what Katherine Jackson said about how her son felt about John Branca. Read more...

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Michael Jackson Estate’s record deal raises questions

The Probate Lawyer Blog featured this article about the Michael Jackson Estate several weeks ago, posing the question of whether it is ethical for estate executors to seek a 10% fee for certain business deals they reach for such a high-profile estate.  It’s especially problematic when you factor in that one of the executors was Michael Jackson’s attorney.  Michael Jackson Estate

Well, this attorney, John Branca, and his co-executor, John McClain (a music executive), just hit the mother-load.  It was widely reported yesterday that they brokered a deal worth up to $250 million dollars (that’s right — one quarter of a billion dollars!). What was the deal for?  Sony announced a seven-year distribution agreement for unreleased music recorded by the late King of Pop (as well as related video footage).

Yes that means that Branca and McClain earned $12.5 million each for one deal.

Why do we question this?  For several reasons, actually.  First, it’s the job of executors to bring in as much money as possible for an estate that has earning

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