Will Michael Jackson’s last will and testament be honored by his relatives?
That’s the question right now as the Jackson family and Michael’s team try to figure out what exactly is going on and who is in charge.
As it stands now, Jackson has left a signed will with former attorney and partner John Branca. Branca was the lawyer who helped Jackson buy ATV Music Publishing in the 1980s, then merge with Sony Music Publishing in the early 90s. The result was like giving Jackson a billion-dollar bank account, which he leveraged over and over to accomodate his huge financial needs.
But the plot thickens: never one to shy away from trying to get a piece of his son’s action, Joseph Jackson has now gone on People.com complaining that the family is being kept in the dark about Michael’s will. Of course, Jackson knows that anything he says right now will just be picked up by the press, whether it’s accurate or not.
The fact is, the Jackson family, according to my sources, hasn’t even contacted anyone from Michael’s legal team. And Joseph Jackson‘who is said to have instigated a lawsuit against Michael by All Good Productions over the promise of a family concert in New Jersey’can’t be too happy that he’s not the executor of his son’s estate.
As I’ve noted before, Joseph Jackson called this reporter with concert promoter Leonard Rowe shortly after Michael’s AEG Live deal was completed.’ He told me he needed my help because they were going to “fix” what was wrong with the deal and take it over. I told him I didn’t think that was possible, and he hung up after several minutes of bickering.
Indeed, the only known existing will sits in a safe at attorney John Branca’s office in Century City. So far, Branca has been out of town. It may not be until Monday before he returns and offers the will for probate, sources say.
Branca, as I’ve noted before, is’Michael Jackson’s children’s best possible advocate at the moment, and the only assurance they have of not being ripped off in the long run.