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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Jackson family upset over administration of Michael's estate

It probably comes as no surprise to Californians that the controversy over Michael Jackson's estate remains in the headlines. The latest news comes in the form of a statement by the attorney representing Janet Jackson and other family members, alleging that the executor of Jackson's estate has damaged family relationships and created discord amongst family factions that are currently disagreeing about the handling of the estate. Jackson's last will and testament continues to be at the center of the argument, and questions as to its validity have not, and according to the statement, will not, go away.

Earlier this month a judge named Jackson's cousin, TJ Jackson, as a co-guardian of the children, along with Jackson's mother Katherine. Jackson's will had originally named his mother as the sole guardian of his three children. This has not been well received by Janet, Rebbie and Randy Jackson, who have contested the validity of the will, and now claim that they have been banned from visiting the children or even their mother, who is 82 years old. They also claim that the will itself is suspect, because Jackson was confirmed to have been in New York on the date the will was allegedly signed in California.

The validity of these claims is questionable, as the Los Angeles County Superior Court and all other state courts with proper jurisdiction rejected challenges to the will two years ago, according to statements released by representatives of the estate's executor.

When it comes to a will, taking the necessary precautions to properly document and comport with testamentary requirements under California state law is of utmost importance. The court seems to think the will is unimpeachable, but nonetheless the drama seems set to continue as the family wages a public war of words.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Jacksons say state executors harming the family," Sandy Cohen, Aug. 3, 2012.

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My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.

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