Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009, stunned the world, and sparked nostalgia for the singer’s music that has transformed his image and catapulted his estate to the top of earnings charts.
Jackson’s 2002 will calls for his estate to support his mother, Katherine, and his three children, while leaving nothing for his siblings and his father. The will also left Katherine Jackson as the primary caretaker of his children, Prince, Paris and Blanket. The four receive a stipend and the estate pays for the children’s education, vacations, and a mansion in the celebrity enclave of Calabasas. Through the end of 2012, Jackson’s estate paid nearly $20 million to support his mother and children.
Who’s in Charge?
Jackson named attorney John Branca, who served as Jackson’s lawyer during the singer’s heyday, and family friend and music executive John McClain as the executors of his estate. Branca is the public face of the estate, appearing at premieres of new Jackson events. McClain, who has suffered health problems in recent years, keeps a lower profile. For their services, the men receive a percentage of the estate’s earnings.
Who’s getting the Most Money?
So far, the biggest share of Jackson’s estate hasn’t gone to his family.
Instead, the $91 million owed for taxes and business licenses proved to be the estate’s biggest expense between June 2009 and January 2013. The executors of Jackson’s estate have been paid more than $25 million in compensation, most of which came in the first year when large deals for new albums and the “This Is It” film were made. Lawyers for both the estate and Jackson’s heirs were paid nearly $17.7 million between mid-2009 and the end of 2012
Robin Williams’ widow Susan Schneider and his three kids, Zak, Zelda, and Cody, are fighting over the late actor’s estate. Schneider, whom Williams married in 2011, has filed court documents claiming items belonging to the late actor were stolen from their home days following his August 2014 death. Zak, Zelda and Cody, claim that Schneider is trying to “redefine” his will to “benefit her.”
The actor’s kids claim that Schneider refused to let them in the house after his death and that she is trying to keep items left to the kids, including jewelry and his watch collection. In Williams’ will, he reportedly left all his movie memorabilia, action figures, graphic novels, theater masks, and other items to his children. Schneider allegedly wants items relating to their relationship, including his wedding tux and other “knickknacks.”
In William’s kids’ filings, they state they are “heartbroken” and that Schneider has “acted against his wishes by challenging the plans he so carefully made for his estate.”
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