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Rift in Jackson clan over Jacko estate

By | Published on Wednesday 11 November 2009

A rift is seemingly emerging in the Jackson clan, which isn’t really a surprise. The rift is between Michael Jackson’s parents, Katherine and Joe, with the catalyst being the former’s acceptance of John Branca and John McClain as executors of the late king of pop’s estate.

As previously reported, the Jacksons have been critical of Branca and McClain’s role in Jacko’s affairs ever since the 2002 will that appointed them as executors materialised. The family began legal moves to have Katherine named as a co-executor, and ultimately to have Branca and McClain removed from their roles in relation to the estate. Although Katherine and her lawyers led those legal moves, there were rumours that objections to Branca and McLain really came from Joe Jackson, who wanted to have more control over his late son’s affairs for himself.

Then this week Katherine’s new lawyer, Adam Streisand, threw his support behind Branca and McClain, and turned against Joe. He said Katherine was happy for the two men to continue to manage her late son’s estate, while dismissing Joe’s pubic objections to the executors, remarking that, as Michael had cut his father out of his will, Joe had no rights to question the positions of Branca or McClain or the validity of the will that appointed them. And according to TMZ.com, the judge overseeing the Jacko estate has concurred with Streisand.

Needless to say, Joe Jackson is not impressed with this turn of events. His lawyer, Brian Oxman, has told reporters he believes that Katherine has done a deal with Branca, hence her decision to no longer oppose his role as executor. Branca’s lawyer Howard Weitzman denies any such deal has been done.

And what does this mean for Joe’s attempts to get a monthly allowance out of the Jacko estate to keep him in new hats? Well, Katherine has let it be known she has no objections to her estranged husband getting some cash, but given her acceptance of Branca and McClain as executors it is not necessarily up to her.

Perhaps recognising that Joe’s allowance claim may be affected by his failed attempts to have Branca and McClain removed, his lawyer has now told the estate that if they don’t offer the Jackson patriarch an allowance they’ll sue for breach of contract. What contract they’d base that on isn’t entirely clear, but there’s probably a few more interesting court hearings to go on this one.

In related news, it’s been revealed that Michael Jackson’s funeral cost a million dollars, and that’s not the big public bash at LA’s Staples Center, but the small private funeral held prior to his burial in September. A hundred grand was paid to the Forest Lawn Cemetery alone, half of which, TMZ reports, was paid upfront by Janet Jackson, possibly the only other Jackson with access to serious cash reserves. But before you start to lose any sleep, don’t worry, she’s had that back from the Jacko estate.