Priscilla Presley has sturdy case in dispute over daughter’s property
When Priscilla Presley challenged her late daughter’s will final week, it raised the prospect of a household rift and a messy authorized battle over who would information Elvis’ profitable property.
However authorized consultants say the courtroom is more likely to again Priscilla’s declare.
In a Los Angeles courtroom submitting, Presley requested a choose to invalidate a not too long ago found 2016 doc — one which changed Presley and Barry Siegel (her daughter’s former supervisor) as co-trustees of Lisa Marie Presley’s belief with Lisa Marie’s kids, Riley and Benjamin Keough.
Elvis’ ex-wife has cited varied elements, together with a suggestion that her daughter’s signature could have been solid.
Lawyer Benny Roshan, chair of Greenberg Glusker’s Trusts and Probate Litigation Group, stated Priscilla Presley has an excellent case.
“They have made allegations that raise very valid concerns,” Roshan stated.
Whereas the submitting doesn’t reveal a falling out between mom and daughter, it has put the household’s private dealings over the property of the rock ‘n’ roll star in a public discussion board.
Lisa Marie Presley had appointed her mom and Siegel as co-trustees of her belief in 1993, in response to her Jan. 26 petition.
However after she died on Jan. 12 in L.A., her mom stated she found an modification to the desire, dated March 11, 2016, that changed them each as trustees upon her dying.
Priscilla Presley alleged the modification was by no means delivered to her whereas Lisa Marie was alive, as required within the unique belief. In her petition, she famous the date of the doc misspelled Priscilla’s title; that her signature seemed inconsistent together with her ordinary log out; and it was neither witnessed nor notarized.
“They’re very good points,” stated Cynthia Brittain of Karlin & Peebles. “If everything is as they portrayed, the case law is pretty clear.”
Not solely does the unique belief doc set out the method for amending it, California regulation establishes that orders specified by such a doc ought to be adopted, Roshan stated.
“California law confirms Priscilla’s position that if the instrument provides a particular method of revocation, amendment or alteration, and you don’t follow that, then it’s not a valid instrument,” Roshan stated. “You have multiple bases to challenge this new amendment.”
Sarah J. Wentz, a accomplice at Fox Rothschild, agreed.
“I think she does [have a good case]” Wentz stated. “Unless [Riley] has some sort of claim that there was a bias against her and that the trustee couldn’t be fair and impartial to her, I think that Priscilla will stay as the trustee.”
Wentz additionally famous that the petition highlights that the signature of the modification didn’t comprise any textual content of the modification, which Priscilla Presley stated in her petition “can present a higher risk of fraud.”
If the disagreement requires the courtroom to research the authenticity of the signature, a jury would determine the matter, stated Ryan Sellers of the regulation agency Hales & Sellers.
Such disputes over the validity of wills are frequent, particularly in instances involving high-profile people.
“It’s very common for relatives to come forward and dispute a particular change that decedent made during their lifetime,” Roshan stated.
However the authorized dispute, Priscilla Presley denied any household rift in a press release Friday.
“I loved Elvis very much as he loved me,” she stated. “Lisa is a result of our love. For anyone to think anything differently would be a travesty of the family legacy and would be disrespectful of what Elvis left behind in his life.”
Lisa Marie Presley is survived by her three daughters, actor Riley Keough, 33, and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, from two completely different ex-husbands. Her son Benjamin died in 2020 at age 27.
The youngsters haven’t but commented on Priscilla’s submitting. A consultant for Riley Keough didn’t reply to The Instances’ request for remark.
Lisa Marie’s stake within the Elvis property has light over time however stays sizable, together with Graceland, a magnet for followers. She additionally retained possession of her father’s costumes, vehicles, awards and different possessions, in response to the mansion’s web site.
The Graceland property is in a belief that can now go to the advantage of Lisa Marie’s kids, a Graceland spokesperson stated beforehand. “Nothing will change with the operation or management,” the consultant stated.
Joel Weinshanker, managing accomplice at Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company based by the Elvis Presley Belief that was at one level owned by Lisa Marie, stated this week that she had at all times meant for her two kids to steer her property.
“There was never a question in her mind that they would be the stewards, that they would look at it exactly the same way she did,” he stated.
In 2018, Siegel and Lisa Marie Presley battled in courtroom. She claimed to be greater than $16 million in debt that 12 months and sued Siegel over alleged monetary mismanagement. Her former supervisor then countersued, accusing Presley of losing her inheritance and owing him cash.
Siegel both deliberate to, or had already resigned, as co-trustee, it stated. Siegel would get replaced by Lisa Marie’s daughter, Riley Keough, in response to the petition.
It’s unclear whether or not or not Presley’s granddaughter Riley wished to function a co-trustee on the property with Priscilla, which may complicate the courtroom’s resolution, Brittain stated.
Brittain stated a choose may deem that if the granddaughter doesn’t wish to serve together with her grandmother, or if there may be some rift, that placing them collectively might not be in one of the best curiosity of the beneficiaries.
“We often put corporate trustees in when there’s conflict within the family,” Brittain stated. “Because No. 1, the family’s had a tremendous loss and everybody’s grieving. Sometimes people grabbed for control, not because they’re controlling, but it’s some way of remaining close to the decedent. Maybe the petitioner thinks that way she can be closer to her granddaughter.”