Many readers in Texas will recall that superstar singer Michael Jackson passed away in 2009, leaving three children behind. Though his death was three years ago, his assets are still being subjected to the estate administration process. This is due mostly to the fact that the estate was quite large and subject to many debts, lawsuits and other challenges.
Recently, reports have surfaced stating that the trust that was supposed to be funded with the remaining assets of the singer's estate remains empty. The trust is similar to some created by those of us in Texas and is intended to benefit Jackson's children of the deceased and, in this case, also Jackson's mother. During the estate administration process, the trust will be funded using what remains of the estate after all debts have been satisfied. Some sources indicate that they believe this process could take years.
The estate of Michael Jackson has made nearly $600 million since the time of his death. The family trust established by Jackson outlines his wishes for an equal split of his assets between his three children together and his mother. Reports indicate that at least some of the estate money has gone to pay off debts left by the superstar. In addition, the estate has been involved in several lawsuits. Currently, the trust has not received any funding, leaving Jackson's children to live off of a monthly allowance.
It appears that most of the debts of the Michael Jackson estate are in the process of being accounted for and managed. Once that happens, the estate administration process will continue and the trust will presumably be funded with the remaining assets. Though the value of the remainder is unknown at this time, many expect it to be substantial.
Though many Texas residents will not have the significant assets of this superstar, any family can experience the difficulties associated with estate administration. This is one reason why it is so important that individuals prepare a solid estate plan and make the necessary arrangements to ensure that their assets and family are protected in the future.
Source: ABC News, "Trust Fund for Michael Jackson's Kids Remains Empty: Report," Sheila Marikar, Sept. 3, 2012