Michael Jackson’s Mother Won Temporary Custody and Control of His Estate
On Monday, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine won temporary custody of the star’s children and control of his estate as the legal battle started over the King of Pop’s children and fortune.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Mitchell Beckloff, approved the appointment of Katherine Jackson as temporary guardian of the late singer children; 12- year-old Prince Michael, 11-year-old Paris Katherine and 7-year-old Prince Michael II (nicknamed Blanket). Beckloff set a July 6 hearing to make a final decision.
79-year-old Katherine Jackson also won the control over an estate estimated to be valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Katherine Jackson’s legal counsel, L. Londell McMillan said in a statement late on Monday saying the family was pleased with the judge’s rulings. Joe Jackson even applauded the court decision to make his wife the temporary guardian of their grandchildren, saying, “This is where they belong. We’re going to take care of them and give them the education they’re supposed to have.”
Katherine Jackson was named “special administrator” of her son’s estate until a July 6 hearing, but the court order stipulated that she was not to take possession of money or property, except as permitted by the court. Not only the estate, the control also includes the Neverland ranch and rights to songs by The Beatles. She was reportedly seeking control of funds “for the exclusive use of the decedent’s children” and was concerned about bank accounts controlled by unnamed “third parties.”
50-year-old Jackson was reported to be as much as $500 million in debt when he died, but his estate has been estimated at $1 billion or more and is likely to rise following his death. Court papers list the value of the estate as “unknown.”
It is unclear if Jackson drew up a will before he died, but The Wall Street Journal reported that a will drafted by Jackson in 2002 divides his estate among his mother, children and one or more charities. The family told the court that Jackson did not have a will, but at least one of the pop star’s many lawyers reportedly said there was a will under wraps.
His two eldest children were from his marriage to dermatologist Debbie Rowe and the third is from an unidentified surrogate mother. In court papers, Katherine Jackson said the children had “no relationship with their biological mother,” and it was unclear whether Rowe would also seek custody of the kids. Rowe reportedly appealed through her lawyers to let the children mourn their father in peace.
Rowe’s lawyer, Marta Almli said that “Rowe requests that Michael’s family, and particularly the children, be spared such harmful, sensationalist speculation.” Legal experts say that Rowe, as the biological mother, would have a strong chance to gain custody of her two children. She was expected to make a decision on her next step in the coming days.
Meanwhile, four days after the singer’s death from cardiac arrest, his father Joe Jackson said the family was awaiting results of a second private autopsy, and he expected to get details “real soon.” He said funeral arrangements had not been made. As the investigation into what killed the Heal the World singer intensified, coroners were said collecting two bags of medication from his home as evidence.
Reports have said Jackson’s family is considering a series of simultaneous memorial services around the world for the singer, reflecting the huge global reach of an artist who sold more than 750 million records. Family representative and prominent New York politician Al Sharpton said, “It is the determination of the family to be careful and deliberate on how they plan his celebration of life, because we’re talking about a historic figure that really changed pop culture around the world. This is not something you do carelessly and spontaneously. We must remember they are still grieving and in their grief, determined to uphold his legacy.”
More news to come post the death of the superstar. Stay tune!
[ via Yahoo! News ]
michael jackson and his children