Priscilla Presley Has ‘Good Case’ to Win Battle for Lisa Marie’s Belief
Priscilla Presley might have a superb shot at remaining the trustee of late daughter Lisa Marie Presley‘s belief property, in accordance with specialists — whilst longtime pals insist that Lisa Marie hoped the duty would fall to her youngsters.
Sources beforehand informed PEOPLE that when Lisa Marie, the one baby of rock legend Elvis Presley, died on Jan. 12 at age 54she left management of her belief — which incorporates Elvis’ Graceland property and 15 % possession of Elvis’ property — to her daughter Riley Keough33.
Lisa Marie had beforehand named Priscilla, 77, and her former enterprise supervisor Barry Siegel as co-trustees in 2010 — however a 2016 modification put the belief within the fingers of her actress daughter and her late son Benjamin Keoughwho died by suicide in 2020.
Final week, attorneys for Priscilla filed a petition in Los Angeles questioning the “authenticity and validity” of the 2016 modification attributable to numerous elements, together with a reputation misspelling and an inconsistent signature.
“For some purpose, Priscilla does not need Riley to behave as trustee with out her. The 2010 belief permits Priscilla and Riley to behave as co-trustees. The 2016 belief permits Riley to behave as trustee alone. Priscilla does not like this,” says David Esquibias, a Los Angeles-based probate, trusts and estates litigation lawyer.
Benny Roshan, also a probate, trusts and estates litigation lawyer based mostly in L.A., tells PEOPLE that per the submitting, the largest argument Priscilla has in her favor is the truth that the 2010 doc stipulated that any adjustments made needed to be delivered to Priscilla throughout Lisa Marie’s lifetime — and in accordance with Priscilla, they weren’t.
“The regulation mainly says observe no matter is within the doc, after which the doc says that is what it’s a must to do,” she explains. “So if the court docket is it and really these procedures weren’t adopted, Priscilla has a superb case of arguing that this new doc that basically replaces her shouldn’t be legitimate. That is a superb level if it was by no means adopted.”
Esquibias feels the identical, telling PEOPLE that if Lisa Marie actually did fail to observe process, issues will work out for Priscilla.
“Absent different details coming to gentle, such because the 2016 was delivered to Priscilla throughout Lisa Marie’s lifetime, I feel Priscilla wins,” he says. “The 2010 belief explicitly makes the tactic of modification the unique methodology of modification. Subsequently, beneath California regulation, that process should be adopted, however in accordance with Priscilla it wasn’t.”
Esquibias continues: “If Priscilla is appropriate, and a court docket agrees together with her that the 2010 belief supplies an unique process for modification that was not adopted, invalidating the 2016 belief doc, the opposite points she raised, such because the misspelling of her title, the unfamiliar Lisa Marie signature, the Lisa Marie signature on a clean web page, won’t ever be answered.”
Roshan additionally notes that per Priscilla’s submitting, Siegel (whom Lisa Marie sued in 2018 for mismanaging her funds) shouldn’t be anticipated to simply accept his appointment as successor trustee — which might imply the duties then fall to Priscilla and Riley to behave collectively as co-trustees ought to the 2010 doc be the one deemed legitimate.
“Within the 2010 doc, if Barry Siegel shouldn’t be accessible to function a profitable trustee, then Riley steps in to serve together with Priscilla, as a result of the intention of the doc because it’s written, is that there will be two co-trustees appearing at any given level,” she says.
It stays unclear simply how lengthy the authorized battle forward lies for the household, although a listening to for the matter is ready for April 13, throughout which any get together — on this case, seemingly Riley — can attend.
“Circumstances like this rely on whether or not or not different events and relations disagree with Priscilla’s place. If nobody objects it may be accomplished in as little as a couple of months,” Roshan says. “If somebody objects to her place and takes a opposite place, e.g. that the 2016 modification is legitimate, the litigation can drag out for years.”
Days after her submitting, Priscilla appeared to allude to the situation with a press release she shared on Lisa Marie’s birthday.
“Immediately would have been Lisa’s fifty fifth birthday. My want is to guard my three grandchildren and maintain our household collectively,” Priscilla wrote. “From the primary second I held Lisa in my arms, I’ve protected, liked and guided her, as I’ve my son. Our hearts are damaged, and I’m having to study to stay with out my solely daughter.”
In the meantime, these near Lisa Marie have continued to insist that the late star wished her legacy to lie together with her youngsters.
Joel Weinshaker, managing associate at Elvis Presley Enterprises, appeared on Sirius XM’s Elvis Radio to speak about his late buddy, and mentioned she was “fairly sure” and “very direct” concerning the scenario.
“We mentioned this many many instances [before] she handed, and that was all the time Riley and Ben,” he mentioned of the youngsters, whom she shared with ex-husband Danny Keough. “There was by no means a query in her thoughts that they’d be the stewards, that they’d have a look at it the very same means that she did. And clearly when Ben handed, it actually sat with Riley.”
He additionally insisted that although Riley has a profession in appearing and directing, she “all the time had an curiosity” and “knew that at some point she could be in cost.”
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