California Probate Attorney: Michael Jackson Estate Process

by Tamera H. Bennett

posted June 30, 2009

The news varies from hour to hour whether or not Michael Jackson had a will and is it valid.  Only a judge can make the decision if the will is valid and that decision will be months, even years away.

Mr. Jackson resided in Los Angeles County, California and passed away there as well.  The probate of his estate, with or without a will, is proper in the Superior Court of Los Angeles.

The link to my CREATE PROTECT BLAWGCAST here, provides insight from California probate attorney Jennifer Sawday on the process all probate cases take in California with a special emphasis on the Michael Jackson case (click here for link to initial court filing).

Our conversation explores the potential legal issues involved in settling a celebrity estate such as:

  • What is the time-line for probate in California?
  • Could some assets pass outside the probate proceeding?
  • What does probate cost?
  • What is the strategy behind Ms. Katherine Jackson filing for Letters of Administration so soon after death?
  • What happens if a "will" shows up?
  • What are the potential guardianship issues?
  • What if allegations arise that Michael Jackson is not the biological father of some or all of his children?

Look forward to your comments and questions on this topic.