Sunday, July 5, 2009

Michael Jackson's Will...Why The Surprise?

I caught a few headlines that expressed surprise that Michael Jackson left nothing to ex-wife. I am thinking, why should he have? More importantly, notice Jackson use of a trust.

The Associated Press headlined the story much more sedately with Judge: Mom has temp control of Jackson's property

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge ruled Wednesday that Katherine Jackson will retain limited control of 2,000 items from Neverland until another hearing is held Monday.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff called for a speedy compromise between attorneys for Katherine Jackson and the two co-executors of Michael Jackson's will — lawyer John Branca and John McClain, a music executive and a family friend.

"I would like the family to sit down and try to make this work so that we don't have a difficult time in court," the judge said.
The New York Times has some interesting points in its Jackson’s Will Could Set Off Legal Struggle:
A five-page will written in 2002 and filed in state court Wednesday by two executors who were once business partners of Mr. Jackson gives the entire estate to a family trust, and names his mother, Katherine Jackson, as a beneficiary of the trust and as legal guardian of the children.

It was not clear if the will filed Wednesday was the only one. With Mr. Jackson employing a revolving door of legal advisers and others over the years, Mrs. Jackson’s lawyer, Burt Levitch, did not rule out possibility of multiple wills.

But if the 2002 will is deemed valid and a trust receives all of Mr. Jackson’s assets, many of the details of his finances could remain secret. The trust documents are private.