Jackson's mother may challenge will executors
AP, Jul 17, 2009 11:01 pm PDT
Michael Jackson's mother asked for a judge's ruling Friday on whether she can challenge the authority of two men named in her son's will as executors of his estate without being disinherited.
The filing does not formally challenge the appointment of attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain as executors of Michael Jackson's estate.
But a favorable ruling could pave the way for 79-year-old Katherine Jackson to seek control of her son's estate, which has an estimated value of more than $500 million.
A judge granted her temporary control over roughly 2,000 items taken from her son's Neverland Ranch and slated for auction, but her authority expired and was given to Branca and McClain. She had sought to control Jackson's estate, but that was before the singer's 2002 will was filed in Los Angeles.
It names Branca and McClain as Jackson's choice for co-executors of the will, and states his estate should be placed in a private trust.
Jackson's trust included a "no contest" clause that calls for anyone who challenges the will to be disinherited. Katherine Jackson, her three grandchildren and unnamed charities are beneficiaries of the estate.
The filing states that Katherine Jackson's attorneys continue to confer with attorneys for McClain and Branca and no final decisions have been made.
"Mrs. Jackson and her counsel have not yet decided whether to object to the appointment of the named executors or to suggest an alternate appointment," the filing states.
A phone message left after business hours Friday for Paul Gordon Hoffman, an attorney representing Branca and McClain, was not immediately returned.
The filing was first reported by RadarOnline.com.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff will consider how to handle the filing at a hearing on Aug 3. Lingering issues about Jackson's estate could be decided then, and the hearing will also focus on whether Katherine Jackson will be allowed to keep custody of her son's children, who range in ages from 7 to 12.
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