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Michael Jackson estate administrators dismiss questions about legal will

October 21, 2009

Administrators of Michael Jackson’s estate on Wednesday dismissed questions about whether his legal will is valid, after the celebrity news website TMZ reported that his brother Randy Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a Jackson family confidant, raised questions about whether the pop star was in Los Angeles to sign the will on the date stated in the document.jackson

Howard Weitzman, an attorney for administrators of the Jackson estate John Branca and John McClain, said in a statement, “Despite any claims to the contrary, we are confident Michael Jackson’s will is valid, that he signed it and that it reflects his wishes. All three witnesses listed on the will recall being present when Michael signed it.”

The will is important, because it names Branca and McClain as administrators of Jackson’s estate, and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has relied on the will since Jackson’s June 25 death to put the Branca, an attorney, and McClain, a music executive, in charge of the estate.

The will, which is available to view here, bears Michael Jackson’s signature dated July 7, 2002. Another page of the will bears the words, “We declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on July 7th, 2002 at 5:00 pm, Los Angeles.” But TMZ has posted photos that show Michael Jackson was in New York the day before on July 6, 2002, where he publicly protested against Tommy Mottola, the former head of Sony Music Entertainment, in a dispute over how he was being treated as an artist.

TMZ has other photos of Jackson in New York on July 8, 2002. In several of the pictures, Jackson is appearing with the Rev. Al Sharpton. So far, no photos have surfaced of Jackson in New York on July 7, 2002, the date in question when he is believed to have signed the will.

Sharpton has weighed in on the question, in a statement through his spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger.

“We have reason to believe that Michael may have been in NY on the 7th and Rev. Sharpton will address this after he discusses it with the Jackson family,” Noerdlinger said in the statement. “Michael Jackson was with us in New York City on July 6th at our Harlem Headquarters and again for a summit with Rev. Sharpton, attorney Johnnie Cochran and others around the issue of artist rights a few days later on July 9th.”

There has been already been plenty of friction between the administrators and Jackson’s family over control of the estate, and the questions that Randy Jackson and Sharpton are raising appear to be the latest instance of that. Did Jackson simply hop on a plane from New York to sign the will in Los Angeles on July 7, 2002? It’s possible. But it’s also possible that the question will continue to be a point of contention in the coming days.


Fans we need to attend to most crucial things. All the tribute are good, but there are some very disturbing news from California regarding Michael jackson Will. The excutors are seiking to ahve limnited say on the Michael jackson estate. This will be a blunder because everyone is eyeing to get Mj money. His kids will be frauded, they are so young. Can the judge make sure the money is kept for the kids permanently as they are so young and cannot manange their father’s estate. Fans we need to rally behind michael Jackson Estate executors. i dont know them and since michael died with all the deals on the estate, ia m sure they-Mr Branca and Mr. McCalin. You know waht these two people have nothing to loose at all. Michael’s children will loose big time. His fans will too because we don’t want to see Michael jackson estate and children frauded off money.

Posted by Irene Ayieko | Report as abusive

i’ve been asking on websites every since the will was reported and i saw the date on the will wasn’t michael jackson in new york why has it took so long for others to recognize that the date on the will conflicted to where michael jackson was

Posted by sweetneke | Report as abusive

All Michael jackson fans know is that Michael Jackson wanted his estate welfare taken care of by the people who helped him invest, that is Mr Branca and Mr McClain. Michael did his things in a very secretivie way and even if the will is dated 7th July may be that is when he authorized it. This guy took privat flights and the possibility could have been when he went to New York he must have wanted to ahve a will because the issue of his music was hot one, so he put a will down just incase anything would happen to him there. The signature looks Michael Jackson’s ont he will. Giving up the will to his family will only deprive his children their inheritance. He put a will down so as to protect hsi children from his family. If Michael Jackson ever ever take money/estate from those kids Michael Jackson will haunt them forever more.

Posted by Irene Ayieko | Report as abusive

Michael had been dealing with Branca and McClain for years as his advisors and it should stay that way. Branca is an accomplished entertainment attorney and McClain knows the music business. who better to manage his estate. yes, it will make money — but the money goes to MJ’s kids, his charities, and his mom. let MJ rest in peace and let Branca and McClain do their best for his beneficiaries. they are MUCH better positioned to do this than any of the Jackson family’s attorneys. And who cares where he signed it — 3 witnesses say it is his signature and they valid this. get out of the weeds and get into the big picture. it’s MJ’s will, let’s do his bidding!

Posted by Francie | Report as abusive

why does everyone think that branco and mcclain are such honest men and the jacksons just want michaels money if they are so honest they no that they should allow katherine have a seat at the table what do they have to loose nothing they will still get paid or is it they don’t want her to keep track of her son’s estate i truely believed that this will is forged and if it is what is everyone so worry about in calif. if the will is invalid then everything goes to the kids anyway so what’s the big deal so why is it so important for branco and mcclain to be executors they should be in jail

Posted by sweetneke | Report as abusive

last i read Randy Jackson was was working in a friends garage so he obviously doesn’t know how to handle money.I suspect the rest of the family is just as broke as Randy is. I also read MJ thought some of his family, except his mother and Janet of cource believed he owed them something.

Posted by rudeboi | Report as abusive

Mr. Branca and his firm already tried to rip Michael off when they were involved in a conflict of interest by representing Michael and Sony when Michael was leaving the company. That is the reason Michael didn’t get the rights back to his music until 2011! It was put in the fine print in the paper work done up by Branca’s law firm. I have never trusted him!Lisa Marie has control of Elvis’s estate, Yoko has control of John Lennons estate, Michaels kids should end up with control of their father’s estate and I pray the Jackson’s make sure that it happens that way! As a life long fan I want the truth to come out about all the businessmen that seem to have their fingers in Michael’s pot of gold. I pray the LAPD is taking a good look at all of them in Michael’s death. There is more than meets the eye going on. It wasn’t just an accident by a bad doctor. Look closer. check out the site and form your own opinion. Don’t let the media form one for you!

Posted by The Grim | Report as abusive

If he was protesting Sony and Mottola, he may have felt death threats were going to come against him next, so I totally believe he hopped a private jet and signed a will, just in case…

Posted by lovey | Report as abusive

now we’re suppose to believe that the witnesses all were in new york and witnessed michael jackson signing the will when he was with one of the best lawyers in the land johnnie cochran just because howard wietzman said they were last i heard he is a lawyer for the executors i don’t believe it and if some of these same news organizations were legit they would get off their butts and do some of their own investigation and see if all three of the witnesses we indeed in ny not just take howard wietzman at his word he also has said the michael signed the will in la at john branca law firm

Posted by sweetneke | Report as abusive

also i’d like to add maybe that’s why barry siegel didn’t want to have anything to do with the will and signed off of being an executor i wonder who verified under oath that the will was authenic was it branca, mcclain, or barry siegel if it was branca then put barry siegel under oath let’s see if he saids he was in ny and actually witness michael sign the will

Posted by sweetneke | Report as abusive

I’m curious as to why John Mcclain and John Branca are both listed as “This is It” executive producers? ect.aspx?project_id=205218

Posted by jill | Report as abusive

Michael could have done another will after 2002 had he wanted to; he could have named his family as executors up until the time he died – that’s 7 years. He did not change it because he wanted Mcclain and Branca. Everything I have heard or read from people who actually knew Michael Jackson (and not just Branca and Mcclain) have all said he did not want his family in his business. If the Jacksons get the money it is gone.

Posted by Tom Joyce | Report as abusive

i love mj……… always have and always willrip king of pop. he died cause people wouldnt respect his private life leave him alone at least now…I came on this article to tell u lot to mind ur own bussiness and stop trying to tell other people what they should do…And there is not need to be curious of anything, there are reasons that dont need you interfering with them

Posted by lily | Report as abusive

yeah and if branca and mcclain get the money it’s gone to so what’s you’re point everyone here no’s if it was your son father or brother you wouldn’t want someone outside of the family controlling your families money and just because howard wietzman said that the will is valid doesn’t mean that it’s valid he represents the executors of the estate so he has to put on a good face let’s wait and see how this plays out katherine has got some new lawyers let’s see where they take this

Posted by sweetneke | Report as abusive

I do not think it is about the family wanting money.I think it is about the FACT that Michael worked so hard all those years from age 6 til his death ,also his brothers and mother and father worked hard too. from the very beginning to years later.they do not want to see someone else have their hand in Michael’s estate and I DO NOT BLAME THEM. THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO QUESTION THE VALIDITY OF THE WILL.I questioned it myself when I read it because it appeared to be TOO EXACT (almost as if every word was worded too perfect .. like whomever wrote it wanted to make sure everything was covered..DO NOT knock the Jacksons for LOOKING OUT FOR mICHAEL ,I would rather see them with Michael’s estate than other people who were noone around BACK IN THE DAY…

Posted by ARONA | Report as abusive

oops I meant “nowhere around back in the day “

Posted by ARONA | Report as abusive

oops I meant “nowhere around back in the day “AND i AM TIRED OF EVERYONE WNTING A PIECE OF michael’s money…

Posted by ARONA | Report as abusive

To The GrimLisa Marie sold Elvis’s Estate for 100 million in 1004. Just an FYI.

Posted by Kel | Report as abusive

oppps i meant 2004

Posted by Kel | Report as abusive

What mafia! Those guys shouldnt be there… How did John Branca know he would be the executor on June 28 2009? In that day he put his office and had an interesting meeting with AEG employees, Frank Dileo and Tohme Tohme; McClain was in the phone! Michael fired Branca in Feb 2003 and he returned to Michael life days before he was killed… How did he know Michael had changed it, if that piece of lies was real?!

Posted by FernandaCamino | Report as abusive

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