Jackson's 2002 Will Made Public
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Later today we may learn more about plans for Michael Jackson's funeral. The singer's Neverland Ranch has been ruled out, and Jackson's family reportedly is looking for some large venue here in Los Angeles. Also making news: Michael Jackson's will, which was filed yesterday in an L.A. court. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.
CARRIE KAHN: The will was just five pages, many with Jackson's initials in the margins. Dated July 7, 2002, it named a longtime Jackson attorney and one of the singer's friends as co-executors of what was then a $500 million fortune. In a statement, John Branca, one of the people named by Jackson, says he will carry out the singer's wishes.
He said the most important element of Jackson's will is that Michael's mother, 79-year-old Katherine, become the legal guardian of his three children. She now has temporary guardianship and limited control over Jackson's estate. Now that the will has been filed, a probate hearing will be held on Monday. Earlier this week, Michael's father Joe Jackson told reporters that he and his wife are now the children's parents.
Mr. JOE JACKSON (Father of Michael Jackson): We're going to take care of them and give them the education they're supposed to have.
KAHN: He dismissed any possible claims that might came from Debbie Rowe, Jackson's former wife.
Mr. JACKSON: Debbie Rowe has nothing to do with what we're doing.
KAHN: In his will, Michael Jackson clearly states that Rowe gets nothing. He makes no mention of his father at all. If Jackson's mother, Katherine, is unwilling or unable to care for his three children, the will asks that singer Diana Ross be named guardian. A spokesman for Ross had no comment.
Carrie Kahn, NPR News.
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