Considering how strange some aspects of Michael Jackson’s life were it was probably inevitable that the late singer’s estate would end up in court. Arguments over the California custody of the singer’s children emerged in the days following his death last year. Soon afterward Joe Jackson, filed suit alleging that as Michael’s father he is entitled to a say in the administration of his son’s estate.
According to the Associated Press, Jackson’s will named a lawyer and a music industry executive as the co-administrators of his estate. Joe Jackson challenged this soon after his son’s death.
“I think it’s an important issue for all fathers around the country and around the world that when their child dies they should have a say-so in their child’s estate,” the news agency quotes the elder Jackson saying. Attorneys for the singer’s estate take the position that as an adult Michael Jackson (who was 50 years old at the time of his death) was free to designate whomever he pleased to administer his fortune after he passed away. Joe Jackson lost the initial legal round of this case in a lower court. A California appeals court has now set October 6 as the date for arguments in the next phase of what promises to be a lengthy legal saga.
The fact that Michael Jackson’s estate has reportedly earned $1 billion in the year since his death may be providing some impetus for the continued legal wrangling. That does not, however, change the broader point this case raises about California and Orange County family law issues: a careful ordering of your affairs while you are alive – especially Orange County child custody and guardianship issues – is one of the best ways for any parent to ensure the best outcomes for their children in the event of a parent’s death.
An Orange County family law attorney can offer clients a wide range of legal services designed to prevent the sort of wrangling now taking place over the Jackson estate. Careful attention to your affairs now is the best way to ensure that California parental rights and a parent’s wishes are honored after one or both parents pass away.
AP via The Washington Post: Appeals Court Sets Hearing in Jackson Estate Case