Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Jackson leaves estate to family!

Michael Jackson
Jackson's will estimated his estate to be worth more than $500m

Michael Jackson's will has been filed in a Los Angeles court, giving his entire estate to a family trust.

The document, dated 7 July 2002, also reveals the star "intentionally omitted" to provide for his former wife, Debbie Rowe.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, is named as a beneficiary of the trust and the guardian of the singer's three young children, who are named in the will.

It estimated Jackson's estate at that time to be more than $500m (£303m).

The Michael Jackson Family Trust would benefit his three children, his mother and unnamed charities, according to Reuters.

Katherine Jackson
Katherine Jackson is currently looking after the children

The news agency also reported that Jackson's five-page will said: "I have intentionally omitted to provide for my former wife, Deborah Rowe Jackson."

Rowe married Jackson in 1996 but filed for divorce in 1999. She gave up custody rights to the children but sought them again in 2003.

They agreed a settlement in 2006 but the terms were never disclosed.

She is the biological mother of Jackson's eldest children - Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, known as Prince Michael, 12, and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11.

The singer's youngest son - seven-year-old Prince Michael II - was born to a surrogate mother whose identity has never been revealed.

Long-time friend and singer Diana Ross is also named as guardian for Jackson's children in the event that his mother was unable to fulfil her duties.

Katherine Jackson was granted temporary guardianship of Jackson's three children on Monday.

The will said Jackson's estate consisted almost entirely of "non-cash, non-liquid assets, including primarily an interest in a catalogue of music royalty rights which is currently being administered by Sony ATV, and the interests of various entities".

The most important element of Michael's will is his unwavering desire that his mother, Katherine, become the legal guardian for his three children
Executors John Branca and John McClain

That refers to the singer's share of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalogue that includes rights to the songs of The Beatles.

The will names Jackson's lawyer John Branca and John McClain, a music executive and a family friend, as co-executors of the will.

In a statement, Mr Branca and Mr McClain said: "The most important element of Michael's will is his unwavering desire that his mother, Katherine, become the legal guardian for his three children.

"As we work to carry out Michael's instructions to safeguard both the future of his children as well as the remarkable legacy he left us as an artist, we ask that all matters involving his estate be handled with the dignity and the respect that Michael and his family deserve."

Meanwhile, the Jackson family issued a statement saying that no "public or private viewing" of the singer's body would be held at Neverland.

Speculation of a viewing had prompted fans and reporters to gather outside the property, but the family said they would announce plans "regarding a public memorial" shortly.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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