In January 2023, Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa Marie Presley, passed away. Lisa Marie, unlike many other celebrities, had an estate plan in place. With a proper estate plan, Lisa Marie’s assets would not have to go through probate and should be seamlessly transferred to her heirs. However, Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla, is challenging the estate plan.
Below are the key points Priscilla Presley is pointing out that, in her opinion, make Lisa Marie’s trust, as part of her overall estate plan, invalid.
Lisa Marie’s Trust
To protect her assets, Lisa Marie created a trust in 1993. It is then claimed that in 2010, Lisa Marie appointed her mother and her former business manager, Barry Siegel, as co-trustees of the trust. This trust kept a 15% stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises as Lisa Marie had previously sold 85% of the company’s assets.
It is then noted that in 2016, the trust was amended to include two of Lisa Marie’s children, Riley and Benjamin Keough, as co-trustees of her estate. Benjamin died in 2020, making Riley a co-trustee. Priscilla is fighting the fact that Riley is named a co-trustee according to this amendment.
As we know, a trustee is a person in charge of upholding the trust and distributing assets to beneficiaries, as listed in the document. Priscilla is challenging that the 2016 amendment is invalid.
What Makes an Estate Plan Invalid?
An estate plan can become invalid for a variety of reasons. In some cases, such as when the testator’s mental capacity has changed or if they were not of sound mind when signing the will, it may be considered invalid.
It is also important that all requirements are met to make an estate plan valid. These requirements include that the will is formally created, properly witnessed by two witnesses, and signed off on by the testator. Additionally, if any amendments or updates are made to an estate plan, they must be executed with the same formalities to be valid.
In Lisa Marie’s case, Priscilla says that the 2016 amendment is invalid because the document has Priscilla’s name misspelled, and Lisa Marie’s signature is “inconsistent” with her typical signature.
Ultimately, it will be up to the court to decide how Lisa Marie’s estate is distributed. However, we can all learn a lesson from this as to why having a qualified estate planning attorney working on your estate plan is essential.
If you need a Long Island estate planning attorney, contact Adler Law. Our experienced team is ready to help you whether you’re creating an estate plan, making changes, or have any questions about the process. Let us help navigate what comes your way — contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation. (516) 740-1184