He said the only valid argument of Jackson’s siblings is that they did not receive proper notice that their brother’s will had been accepted into probate. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff accepted the will in November 2009. Any challenge would have had to been filed within four months, Oldman said.
The California 2nd District Court of Appeal noted in an October 2010 ruling against the singer’s father that the period to challenge the will had already expired. Even if the will were thrown out, the court noted, California law would require the estate to benefit Michael Jackson’s children.
“I don’t see how you come in three years later, and say, `oh, by the way, the will’s a fraud, a forgery, because he wasn’t in LA when he was purported to be,’” said Howard Klein, a probate attorney for nearly 50 years and partner in the Los Angeles firm Feinberg Mindel Brandt Klein & Kline. “It’s something that should have been brought up a long time ago.”
Randy Jackson, in comments on Twitter and to Sharpton on his MSNBC show last week, has repeatedly accused the estate’s executors of criminal conduct. Both Klein and Oldman said even if the executors were charged with wrongdoing, it wouldn’t open the door for more of Jackson’s relatives to gain access to the estate.
Klein said even if Jackson or other siblings try to challenge the document, their bid will likely be rejected because it is too late. The judge could also rule, as he did against family patriarch Joe Jackson, that because he isn’t a beneficiary of the will, he isn’t entitled to contest it.
The executors recently informed a judge that there have been $475 million in gross earnings for the estate since Michael Jackson died in June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. Jackson died with more than $500 million in debts, but the earnings have been used to repay many of the singer’s creditors and provide a spacious hilltop home for Katherine Jackson and the children along with private schooling, staff, security, vacations and other perks.
Katherine Jackson has requested and the estate is recommending approval of a nearly $35,000 a month increase in her stipend so she can retain her own attorney, accountant and homes in Indiana and Las Vegas, court filings show.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP
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