Readers of this column have known for days that Michael Jackson wrote a will in 2002. Now I can tell you that he assigned guardianship of his three kids to his mother, Katherine Jackson. He gave his 80-year-old mother the responsibility of raising his two sons and daughter but made no mention of his father.

In fact, Jackson’s will does not mention his father, Joseph, at all. It divides his estate among the children and his mother only, sources say. His brothers and sisters are also not included as major beneficiaries.

The will is to be executed by attorney John Branca, as I first reported several days ago.

The news that Mrs. Jackson was named by Michael means that it was entirely unnecessary for her to go to court yesterday to get a judge to make her temporary legal guardian. Doing that, and jumping the gun, may have been a’costly mistake (see below item).

Jackson’did not name Debbie Rowe, his ex-wife and biological mother of his two eldest children. Nevertheless, Rowe can exercise her parental’rights and possibly overturn the will if she makes that’decision.

For Jackson’s brothers and father, their omission from his estate’the will was drawn in 2002’may come as something of a blow. None of the brothers ever attained the success of Michael as an adult. But as one observer pointed out to me, “The brothers have the opportunity to make money now, touring in Michael’s memory.” Good point.

The will’ should be officially available shortly, but if it stands as I’ve been told, many of Jackson’s friends are left out of it. Waiting to see if there are any bequests would be his long time aide Evvy Tavasci, friends like Miko Brando and Mark Lester, Macaulay Culkin, Elizabeth Taylor, the Dominic Cascio Family of New Jersey, ex and current manager Frank DiLeo, and a handful of loyal employees. Jackson’s trio of handlers from the 80s and 90s’Bob Jones, Bill Bray, and Lee Solters’all pre-deceased him.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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