Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No Money In Their Trust....Among Other Things

A day before Michael's 54th birthday, an article was published about Katherine wanting to know what was going on with the money that the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate was making. Here is the article that mentions that - 

Katherine with her grandchildren.


"Attorneys for Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, want to know all of the intimate details and see the backup documentation which support the latest accounting and status report filed by the co-executors of Michael Jackson's estate. Last week Katherine's attorney, Perry Sanders, told RadarOnline: "My audit is being done to see the details of where the money is coming from and where it is going. The beneficiaries [Katherine and Michael's children, Prince, Paris and Blanket] should be entitled to all detailed documentation so they can see what THEIR money is paying for."Sanders' comments stem from his July 19 Request for Production of Supporting Documents for Account Current filed in Michael Jackson's probate matter in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to the court filing, "Ms. Katherine Jackson...hereby requests that representatives John Branca, John McClain and counsel for the Estate of Michael Jackson produce for inspection and audit all supporting documents for the Second Account Current and Report of Status of Administration and Petition."Co-executors John Branca and John McClain have countered that the request is too vague and ambiguous and the estate "will not produce such documents absent the entry of a stipulation and protective order governing, among other things, the access to and use of highly confidential documents." According to the online probate court docket, a hearing has been schedule for September 20 for Judge Mitchell Beckloff to weigh in on the request.Meanwhile, as anticipated, last week Judge Beckloff appointed Michael Jackson's nephew, TJ Jackson, a son of Tito, as permanent co-guardian of Michael's children alongside Katherine Jackson."

That is interesting, especially what the Estate executors stated. Then, a bombshell was revealed that, when I read it, proved that my suspicions were correct. The children were not getting a dime from the Estate. 


"LOS ANGELES — Their dad was the King of Pop, but Michael Jackson’s three kids remain paupers on paper. The planned trust fund for Prince, Paris and Blanket remains empty three years after Jackson’s tragic demise, despite almost $600 million generated posthumously from Jackson’s music, legendary likeness and salvaged assets. RELATED: EMAILS SHOW MICHAEL JACKSON WAS 'BASKET CASE'Lawyers and accountants are still sorting through the singer’s towering pile of debts and legal bills, and the process could take another two to five years, one lawyer told the Daily News. In the meantime, Jackson’s kids live on a family allowance tightly controlled by estate executors and overseen by a judge. “The probate is still pending, and although almost all of Michael’s personal debt has been or is about to be paid in full, the estate is technically still in debt,” estate lawyer Howard Weitzman said. “Once all of the creditors’ claims, taxes and pending litigations have been resolved, the trusts will be funded per court order.” He declined to speculate on the size of the leftover fortune expected to flow into the trust fund. “(It’s) too early to speculate on any precise number for a value. It will be a substantial number, I’m certain,” Weitzman said.

and you can watch the video here - 


There are so many things that I can state right now. However, before I do that, I wanted to know what exactly is a trust and how does a trust work. 

A trust is - 


"Trusts are estate-planning tools that can replace or supplement wills, as well as help manage property during life. A trust manages the distribution of a person's property by transferring its benefits and obligations to different people. There are many reasons to create a trust, making this property distribution technique a popular choice for many people when creating an estate plan.
Creation of a TrustThe basics of trust creation are fairly simple. To create a trust, the property owner (called the "trustor," "grantor," or "settlor") transfers legal ownership to a person or institution (called the "trustee") to manage that property for the benefit of another person (called the "beneficiary"). The trustee often receives compensation for his or her management role. Trusts create a "fiduciary" relationship running from the trustee to the beneficiary, meaning that the trustee must act solely in the best interests of the beneficiary when dealing with the trust property. If a trustee does not live up to this duty, then the trustee is legally accountable to the beneficiary for any damage to his or her interests. The grantor may act as the trustee himself or herself, and retain ownership instead of transferring the property, but he or she still must act in a fiduciary capacity. A grantor may also name himself or herself as one of the beneficiaries of the trust. In any trust arrangement, however, the trust cannot become effective until the grantor transfers the property to the trustee.Example: A grantor transfers money to a bank as trustee for the grantor's children, with the bank instructed to pay the children's college expenses as needed; the bank carefully manages the money to ensure there are funds available for this purpose. The children do not have control of the funds and cannot use the funds for any other purposes.Testamentary and Living TrustsTrusts fall into two broad categories, "testamentary trusts" and "living trusts." A testamentary trust transfers property into the trust only after the death of the grantor. Because a trust allows the grantor to specify conditions for receipt of benefits, as well as to spread payment of benefits over a period of time instead of making a single gift, many people prefer to include a trust in their wills to reinforce their preferences and goals after death. The testamentary trust is not automatically created at death but is commonly specified in a will and so as a will provision, the trust property must go through probate prior to commencement of the trust.Example: A parent specifies in her will that upon her death her assets should be transferred to a trustee. The trustee manages the assets for the benefit of her children until they reach an age when the parent believes they will be ready to control the assets on their own."

When you read the information regarding trusts, you have a better understanding of what a trust is, what types and what it does. In regards to the types of trusts, I only want to focus on testamentary trust because Michael is deceased. Here is the trust that was done on Michael- 

Michael in 1983. 


Since Michael's death, the Estate executors has made various moves to get the money flowing so that the trustees (Michael's children and mother) have their share of the earnings. 

* There was the This is It movie, which was number one in the box office. The DVD or Blue Ray sales of the movie made a lot of money.

* There was the Michael CD, which failed to make it to number one for obvious reasons. However, the CD, according to the executors, sold 3 million copies. I know, it is a stretch, but that is what these people stated. That does not mean it is true but for the sake of the location of the money, I will not delete the information I just typed. 

* There was the Michael Jackson Fan Fest in Las Vegas.

* The Immortal Tour and CD which made a lot of money. 

* The Michael Jackson Experience Video Game that was and still is extremely popular that sold through XBox and Playstation video game devices. 

* The Visions Box Set, which were not in High Definition (HD) which sold a lot of copies. Not in the millions because people can watch all of those videos on youtube.com for free. 

* Finally, there is the Bad 25 Box Set that already been released that is destined to sell copies. 

Excluding the Bad 25 box set because we do not know what will be the sales of that set, the Estate profited over a half a billion dollars. That made Michael the most paid deceased celebrity for the past two years. We know that through the profits of these items, the money should be coming through the trust. Now that the trust is empty, what happened to the money? I am going to take a deeper look into the trust and try to find out what I think really happened to the money.

Michael working hard for his money during the Bad tour in 1988.

The the trust, known as the Michael Jackson Family Trust was leaked to the press months after Michael died in 2009. The document stated that 20% of the earnings should go to Children's charities. As far as I know, the Executors have not given any money to the Children's charities, which are known as trustees since Michael has passed away. In the trust, John Branca, John McClain (the Executors) and Katherine are known as the "committee" and it is the committee that makes the decisions on which children's charity that should benefit from the Michael Jackson Estate. In the document, it did state that after the charity has been awarded, the trustee should pay out the reminding balance to the estate, federal or state taxes and any penalties and the funeral costs and probate situations. However, it is not known, well by me, that a charity was chosen to receive monetary gifts from the Michael Jackson Estate. 

Moving on to the Michael Jackson Children's Trust - Michael's three children, Michael Jr. (Prince), Paris and Prince II (Blanket) should be getting 50% of the earnings from the money being made for the Estate. Since Michael had children, Katherine would get 50% percent of the earnings and not 100%. According to the lawyer for the Estate Executors, Howard Weitzman, who is also friends with tmz.com top pooch, Harvey Levin, (you got to know who is friends with who in order to understand the conspiracy that surrounded Michael.) stated that because of the Estate being in "debt" the whole thing will be situated. For the life of me, I cannot understand how after Michael's death, all of those events that I listed happened which would included that Michael's music sold like bananas, the media made a fortune pimping Michael's death, his albums altogether, sold 1 billion copies, and his children's trust fund is empty. That makes no sense to me. If Weitzman is stating that almost all of Michael's debt is nearly paid off, but in the same sentence, the Estate is still in debt, how can the debt be nearly paid off? What happen to the pushing $1 billion profit???? That tells me, and I might be off my rocker but hey, I have to be because things are not adding up, there are other people being benefited from this Estate. It does not take three years for three children and their grandmother, which include the charities that have not been selected from my knowledge, not to have money in the trust fund after all of that money was made after Michael was murdered. Along with the money that was made after he died, there was the fact that Michael sold over 750 million copies. After he died, he sold around 340 million copies of his catalog. We also cannot forget the power of his prized professional possession, the Beatles/SonyBMG ATV Catalog and his publishing rights. It does not make any sense to me that with all of those items, the trust fund is empty. It should be roughly $100M to 200M resting in the trust fund after everything is paid off. Now, I could be wrong because math is not my strong subject but there is nothing wrong with making an educated guess based on the information that is known about Michael's finances. As for the Michael Jackson Relatives Trust, it stated if Katherine did not survive before her son died and Michael did not have children then Michael's nephews, Taj, TJ (who is co-guardian of the children), Taryll (the documented spelled his name wrong) and Michael's second cousins who he raised, Levon, Elijah and Anthony, would have benefited from the Estate through the Michael Jackson Family Trust. Since Katherine out lived her son and Michael had his children, there is no need to get in depth with it. 

The news of the children not having a trust fund, (because what is a point of a trust fund if there is no money in it?) might be something that Randy, Janet and Rebbie knew at the time when the foolishness happened back in July. At the time that it happened, no one ever thought that maybe the reason why the smart Jackson siblings did what they did was because of the fact that the children do not have any money. All of the shade that Paris showed Randy and Janet only made her look silly when it was revealed that her and her sometimes accomplice brother, Michael Jr. along with younger brother, Prince II, have no money. Could that be the reason why Paris is being pimped in the media? Around the first week of this month, Paris was featured in this month's Glamour magazine. Let's read what little Paris had to state in the article - 

Michael with his daughter, Paris in 1999. Things are very different now.


"On family members wanting her to hold off on becoming an actress:“A lot of people don’t want me to do it [her aunt Janet Jackson has said, “She has the rest of her adult life to be that actress that she wants to be.… Your childhood—you completely lose”], but Aunt La Toya believes in me. She heard me play a little guitar and sing, and she started clapping, ‘Oh my God, oh my God.’ She really does encourage me; it’s just awesome of her.”
Interesting. I think that the issue with this child is that she is stubborn. I think she truly does not believe that the entertainment business is the worst business that a child can get into. I guess she did not understand what her father had to go through dealing with the reality of a missing childhood. I guess she did not read what her Aunt Janet stated in her book True You about the pressures she had to go through on the set of the classic television show Good Times at the age of ten. The public mental break downs of Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears and now Amanda Bynes that the world has watched/is watching. Janet saw first hand how the business was treating child stars. (Janet was on Diff'ent Strokes and all of the child stars, two have deceased, one suffered in the entertainment business.) However, what in a way, helped her was when her mother decided to put Janet into public school, she made friends and had, somewhat, a childhood. Michael did not have that chance to do that because of the reality of the situation that he was in. LaToya saw first hand how the business was affecting Michael but instead of telling this girl the truth, she encourages her to go ahead and throw away her childhood at the expense for fame. You have to look at this in the point of view of LaToya's to understand how that woman works - LaToya loves the spotlight and the OWN Network, yes, Oprah's network, will do LaToya's reality show. You know that LaToya would need all of the ratings in the world. I have a feeling that LaToya will include Paris and Michael's sons in her show so that the MJ fans will watch that trainwreck. 
"On making a name for herself:“I love my dad, and I’m proud to be his daughter. I just don’t think the title ‘M.J.’s daughter’ fits me. A lot of people think he’s the only reason I’m making it, but I want to show that I do have talent and that I can make it if I try. I want to be my own person.”
The best person that she can learn from this is Janet. No matter how much LaToya encourages Paris in her talent, experience is the best teacher and LaToya has zero experience in success that comes from hard work and natual talent. Yes, Paris probably learned a lot from Michael, but I doubt Michael even knew that his daughter wanted a career in the business. Janet is the one that can give Paris tips in what to do in the business. As for her identity, whether Paris likes it or not, the only and main reason why people are even remotely talking about her an putting her in a popular magazine that could be given to actual people that have something to promote, is because she is the daughter of the greatest entertainer that world has ever seen. Instead of taking that as an honor, regardless, she views it as a weakness. That is sad. No matter what she does in her life, that is her true identity to the world. Janet worked most of her life to get rid of the wonderful stigma of being Michael's little sister and she even realize that it is not a stigma to get rid of, but rather it is a stigma to embrace and honor. If Paris is talented, and she probably is or isn't (look, there are ways to become successful like being a teacher or therapist), then she needs to let her talent speak for itself. 
"On refusing to follow the crowd:"The clique in my class, they don't like me or my friend because we're outside of the box. We're not copycats. Prince calls me goth, but I'm more rock 'n' roll. (I listen to older music like AC/DC; Phil Collins is the ish.) A ton of kids at school have made fun of me; if I had to give advice to other girls, I would say, 'Hang loose and ignore them. They shouldn't faze you no matter how popular they think they are.'"

Well, there is nothing wrong with Phil Collins. He was the man back in the day and his songs are timeless classics. As for her music tastes, how can a child of the King of Pop like AC/DC? You would think she would like Boyz II Men or the Temptations. As for her issues at school with other children - who has never been teased in high school??? That's right, no one. Paris has friends and she has plenty of strength. To lose her only parent in such a young age is horrible and there is no way anyone can view it. Paris dealt with a horrible blow in her young life. However, has she ever counted her blessings? She is blessed with so much because she has a family, a home to live in, food to eat, she made friends in school, she seems to be happy regardless of what she is going through. I think that Paris seems to let these people get to her when she has to realized that we all have been there when we have been teased for being different and feel like we are not accepted. At the same token, she did trash her family publicly to the point that I don't know if I want to feel sorry for her or not. I believe in tough love and a reality check and Paris, based on her behaviors in the past months, need a lot of both. I know that she is being bullied online and I am not here to accept bullying of any kind but maybe if she took a break from twitter and facebook and focus on her education and childhood, it can get her away from the idiots who are bothering her. I also feel that she should talk to her grandmother and her cousin, TJ about what is going on so something can be done in regards to the bullies. However, that is my opinion and we all know that my opinion or anyone's opinions does not matter when money is involved. TJ sees all of what is going on with Paris and has yet to do anything. While MJ/Branca fans who support the Estate executors ignore that Paris' tweets are a sign that she needs to get off of twitter for a while, needs discipline and guidance and TJ makes tweets that makes no sense, it is frustrating to see what is going on. All we can do, if we are people who are concern for the future of Michael's children and his legacy, is pray that one day, things would make sense. 

Michael in 1988.



Articles/Files - "Trusts"

"The Michael Jackson Family Trust (document)"

"Paris Jackson: A Ton of Kids Make Fun of Me"

Pictures - 
Some from my personal harddrive and some from a google.com search.