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Jackson family disputes will

The death of pop star Michael Jackson three years ago sparked interest in Florida and beyond when it came to who would raise his three children and oversee his estate. Now, the estate administration has been called into question as part of a family feud.

The executors of Jackson's estate even had to take the unusual step of speaking out in public, stating that the family argument over money has left them worried about the children and their grandmother, their guardian since Jackson's death.

The two executors wrote an open letter, posted on a website, to tell the public and Jackson's fans that they were doing all they could to honor Jackson's wishes. They said they worried that Jackson's mother and his three children are the subjects of unfortunate circumstances.

When Jackson died in 2009, it was revealed that he provided for his mother and children in his will but left nothing to his father or siblings. Since then, several of his family members have said they doubted the will was legal and have tried to interfere with the estate administration, according to the executors. Five Jackson siblings signed a letter asking the executors to resign, saying that they manipulated Mrs. Jackson.

Recently, video cameras captured a family dispute outside the home of Jackson's mother when three people -- believed to be Jackson's siblings -- confronted his children. The investigation into that incident continues.

An attorney for Mrs. Jackson said that since Jackson's death, others have planned to remove Mrs. Jackson from her home and her guardianship. A probate judge oversees the estate and Mrs. Jackson's guardianship, and recent financial reports said that many of the debts Jackson had at the time of his death have been settled. His estate has earned $475 million since his passing.

Having a will in place is one way to ensure that an individual's estate is administered according to his or her wishes. Over time, an individual may change the will to take into account a new spouse or the birth of children. When or if this occurs, individuals who were once included as beneficiaries may end up being removed; thus precipitating potentially bitter fallout.

Source: Associated Press, "Michael Jackson estate expresses concern for singer's kids," July 24, 2012

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