On Tuesday, Judge Mitchell Beckloff rebuffed Joseph Jackson's bid to block the appointment of attorney John Branca and music exec John McClain to the position of co-executors of Michael Jackson's estate, saying that the family patriarch had no standing on the matter because he was not named a beneficiary in his son's will.
Joseph Jackson had raised an objection to the judge appointing the two men to the official position of executors, filing court papers on Monday claiming that Michael believed Branca and McClain were defrauding him, according to the Los Angeles Times. Joseph, who was cut out of his son's will, also asked the estate to cover more than $20,000 a month in living expenses, claiming that he is entitled to the "same manner" of support as his estranged wife, Katherine Jackson, who receives a $26,000 monthly allowance from the estate to assist in caring for Jackson's three young children.
But, despite Joseph's claims, Reuters reported that Beckloff officially named Branca and McClain as co-executors, which gives the two men broad powers to make decisions on behalf of the late pop star's estate, including how the singer's music and likeness are licensed, promoted and packaged. In their role as administrators, Branca and McClain helped secure the deal for the "Michael Jackson's This Is It" documentary, which, along with other music sales and business deals overseen by the two, is expected to bring around $200 million into estate coffers by year's end.
Following Jackson's death, there were numerous reports that the family was battling for control of the estate, the value of which is estimated to be north of $500 million. While at one point Katherine Jackson had opposed the naming of McClain and Branca as estate executors (they are currently titled special administrators of the estate), the Times reported that she dropped that objection on Tuesday. Her lawyer said it was "high time" that the family move past the conflict and begin working together.
Jackson's trust includes a provision that cuts out any beneficiary who challenges its validity. Beckloff set a December date for a court hearing on Joseph Jackson's request for living expenses, which the family patriarch claims his son had covered for decades.
In other Jackson news, the Los Angeles Times reported that Jackson's funeral cost more than $1 million, including a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, that cost $590,000 and $35,000 for his funereal clothing. Invitations for the private funeral — which went out to such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Quincy Jones, Macaulay Culkin and others — cost $11,716, and the security costs for the event ran to $30,000. In addition, flowers for the funeral added another $16,000; the funeral planner charged $15,000; and a dinner for friends and family following the event at an Italian restaurant in Pasadena totaled $21,455.