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Administrators given court clearance to start negotiating on behalf of Jackson’s estate

By | Published on Wednesday 15 July 2009

Michael Jackson’s estate is open for business people. On Monday the administrators of the late singer’s estate were given permission to temporarily re-open his business affairs, in order to start putting things in order, and also to start talking to AEG about the contractual implications of the collapse of the planned This Is It residency at The O2 which was, of course, due to kick off this week.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff gave Jacko’s previously reported administrators, John Branca and John McClain, quite a wide range of powers over the late singer’s affairs, at least until that previously reported 3 Aug court hearing which will review a load of matters relating to Jackson’s estate. They will be able to put Jackson’s physical belongings into storage and to hire business and tax experts to start analysing his finances and various business deals, albeit with those advisor’s fees subject to court approval.

A spokesman for the two administrators, attorney Paul Gordon Hoffman, said his clients had moved to get immediate control over Jackson’s affairs so they could “begin to take the actions necessary to preserve the assets of the estate and address the needs of Jackson’s three children”.

As previously reported, the Jackson family are not especially pleased that Branca and McClain were named administrators in Jackson’s 2002 will, and have argued that Branca, a former business advisor of the singer, had not been actively associated with Michael’s affairs for some time, though he argues that, by coincidence, he had been rehired by the singer a few months before his demise.

Hoffman confirmed that the Jackson family had told the administrators that they planned to apply to have the court name Jacko’s mother Katherine as a third trustee on the estate, though added that the legal process that would be required to make that happen doesn’t seem to have been initiated. Hoffman said that Branca and McClain were keeping Katherine very much in touch on developments, options and decisions and that while the singer’s mother still wanted a formal role in relation to the estate, she seemed to be happy with the two administrators work to date.