Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

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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10 Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes

The Business Insider recently published an article featuring Trial & Heirs‘ Top 10 Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes.  Here they are: Michael-jackson-thriller

1. Jimi Hendrix’s Critical Error:  Doing Nothing

If you do not plan your own estate while alive, you could end up like Jimi Hendrix and have someone that you barely knew controlling your legacy.  Hendrix’s legacy was fought over in court more than 30 years after he died.

2. Justice Warren Burger’s Critical Error:  Doing It Yourself

Former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger created his own will with 176 words but he left out key provisions and his family paid the price.

3. Heath Ledger’s Critical Error:  Not Updating

Heath Ledger never updated his will with the birth of his daughter, leading to chaos and family members fighting through the press.

4. Princess Diana’s Critical Error: Taking Shortcuts

Princess Diana used a “letter of wishes” leaving personal items to her godchildren instead of specifying her wishes in a will or trust.

5. Florence Griffith-Joyner’s (Flo Jo) Critical Error:  Forgetting Read more...

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New legal battle coming for Michael Jackson Estate

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting article this past weekend about the Michael Jackson Estate and a new legal hurdle it faces.  The King of Pop certainly didn’t do much to make it easy for his estate executors or his heirs.  This development could add new fuel to the fire between his family and the music executive and lawyer in charge of his estate and trust. Michael Jackson Trial and Heirs

As we’ve written extensively about before, Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson was in a nasty fight with the executors over control of the estate last year.  That is, they were feuding until Katherine dropped the legal challenge and stepped aside.  In fact, according to the LA Times article, she now feels executors John Branca and John McClain are doing “a very good job”.

The problem is she believes that the cash allowance of $7,000 to $8,000 per month, which the pair gives her from the estate, is not enough.  While the estate also pays other expenses for her as well as Michael’s

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Joe Jackson still shut out from Michael’s estate claims

Michael Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, just won’t stop pursuing claims involving his late son’s estate, even though judges keep telling him to . . . [wait for it] . . . Beat It!   Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson’s efforts to have the administrators of the King of Pop’s estate removed in court have failed.  Here’s our last article discussing his failed attempts.  The probate judge ruled he didn’t have legal “standing” (meaning the right to bring the claim in court) to fight against the executors because he was not a beneficiary.  In other words, because he wouldn’t inherit anything, it wasn’t his right to complain about what the executors were doing.
Joe Jackson Files Lawsuit Video


So, of course, Joe appealed.  The Court of Appeals has recently upheld the ruling of the probate judge and agreed that Joe had no claim.  So, he’s most likely out of luck with that claim.
But, wait, he has more!  Or does he?  Joe had filed a claim seeking $500 million dollars against Dr. Conrad Murray, AEG, Read more...

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Katherine Jackson brings wrongful death lawsuit against AEG

When Joe Jackson sued for the death of his son Michael Jackson, Katherine Jackson initially said she wanted nothing to do with it.  Now Michael’s mother, who is also the guardian of his children, has started her own lawsuit against the concert promotion company that, she claims, pushed Michael to his death. Katherine Jackson lawsuit

Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit blames AEG for the King of Pop’s death and seeks damages on behalf of Katherine and Michael’s children.  You can download and read the lawsuit here courtesy of TMZ.com.

Katherine Jackson lawsuit

Among other reasons, it accuses AEG of negligently hiring, failing to supervise and controlling Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who has been criminally charged for causing the death by using Propofol (and other drugs) to help Michael sleep, when it was not medically appropriate.

Interestingly, the lawsuit does not name Dr. Murray as a defendant.  Rather, it targets AEG and various officers and employees with the company.

In the lawsuit, Katherine alleges that AEG and the other defendants interfered with the doctor-patient relationship Read more...

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Joe Jackson refuses to stay out of the Michael Jackson estate

Even though Michael Jackson’s father was not included as a beneficiary in his will or trust, it hasn’t stopped Joe Jackson from trying to intercede in the legal proceedings surrounding the estate.  First, he asked the judge to remove estate executors John Branca and John McClain.Joe Jackson Michael Jackson

The probate judge dismissed his claims, saying he lacked “standing” in the estate because he was not a beneficiary.  In other words, he did not have enough of a financial interest in the estate to be able to legally complain about who was in charge.

Recently, Joe Jackson filed an appeal of that decision, arguing that he was financially dependent on his son while he was alive, so he did have enough of an interest to attack the executors.

This argument is a long shot, at best.  Joe Jackson requested an allowance from the estate initially, but he recently withdrew that request.  More importantly, Michael did not choose to leave any of his assets  to his father, so even if he supported his Read more...

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Michael Jackson Estate Battles – the Year in Review

The one year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s shocking death on June 25, 2009 is upon us. While his music and thriller dance moves live on, unfortunately, so do the legal battles over his estate.  Let’s moonwalk backwards through the past 12 months to review the courtroom clashes and combative issues involving the King of Pop’s estate.

June 25, 2009 – Michael Jackson unexpectedly diesMichael Jackson Trial and Heirs at the age of 50 as he is about to embark on a comeback concert tour.

June 29 – Katherine and Joe Jackson, Michael’s parents, file to open the probate estate of Michael.  They allege that he died without a will and ask for Katherine to be appointed to administer his estate.  Katherine filed to be appointed as guardian of Michael’s three children the same day and is granted temporary authority to assume custody of them.

July 1 – John Branca, Michael’s former attorney, and John McClain, his former manager, file their own probate petition, asking the Judge to appoint them as executors of Michael’s estate

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Michael Jackson living trust revealed

With so much exposure and scrutiny on everything that’s happened to Michael Jackson’s estate since he died, it should probably come as no surprise that his living trust has been leaked to the media and made public.  Wills are public documents and available for everyone to read (once they are filed with the probate court after someone dies).  Accordingly, the Michael Jackson will has been floating around for months.Michael Jackson Trial and Heirs

Trusts, however, are another matter.  Living trusts are intended to be private documents, operating outside of the court process (unless there is a dispute or challenge).

Someone decided to sneak a copy of Michael Jackson’s living trust document to the press, and a British website has the complete document online for your reading pleasure.  Click here to read the Michael Jackson Family Trust.

Note that the website mistakenly refers to this document as his “Will” — it’s actually his trust, not his will.

So what does the King of Pop’s trust reveal?

First, consistent with prior media reports, charity gets

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Magazine Article: Lessons of Famously Bad Estate Planning

The May 2010 issue of Insurance News Net Magazine, written for insurance and other financial professionals, has a great feature on how lessons drawn from famous estate screw-ups can help promote proper estate planning.  (Gee, that sounds familiar.)  

Co-author of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights!, Danielle Mayoras, was quoted extensively in the article, and several stories and lessons from our book were featured in the story.  Here’s the beginning of the article:

Admit it: You can’t resist celebrity news. You’re standing at the grocery checkout behind someone who still uses checks, and then you notice the gossip rags. You can’t help but look and shake your head: “Tiger Woods did what? Brad wants to remarry Jennifer? Kirstie Alley is obese—again?”

Let’s face it—celebrity foibles are even more enticing than are the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups calling your name. Sex might sell, but silliness does too. And celebrity screw-ups can help sell one of the most unsexy things out there: estate planning.

Sure, people know they should have a

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The crazy claims of the Michael Jackson Estate

Given MJ’s eccentricities in life, and the craziness that has surrounded Michael Jackson estate since he died, it is no surprise that Michael Jackson’s estate executors are busy denying wild claims left and right. 

TMZ has a list of the wackiest ones:

  • Jose Freddie Vallejos asked for $3.3 million to reimburse Los Angeles for the costs of the King of Pop’s memorial service.
  • A homeschooler, Claire McMillan, is seeking $2 million.
  • Michael, according to Nona Paris Lola Ankhesenamun Jackson (try saying that three times fast), was actually married to her, so Nona of course wants custody of the three kids.
  • Richard Lapointe claimed he’s owed $5 million for a memorabilia auction that was wrongly canceled.
  • And, best of all, a woman is convinced that Jackson wiretapped her telephone and had organized criminals watch her.  She wants a mere $50 million.

You can read TMZ’s coverage of these claims, which were all formally denied last week by Howard Weitzman, the estate’s attorney.  This means the claimants now have to initial

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