Lisa Marie Presley Trust battle shows the importance of thorough inheritance planning
Priscilla Presley has a ‘good chance’ of remaining the trustee of late daughter Lisa Marie Presley’s Trust estate – despite Lisa Marie having a Will in place handing control directly to her daughter.
Following the death of Rock and Roll legend Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Maire Presley, a controversy has started brewing regarding control of the Trust fund she left to her daughter.
Back in 2010, Lisa Marie named her mother Priscilla, along with her former business manager Barry Siegel, as co-trustees of a Trust for her two children. This Trust includes Elvis’ famous Graceland property and a 15 percent ownership of Elvis’ lucrative estate.
However, a few years later in 2016, Lisa Marie amended the terms of the Trust, putting control squarely in the hands of her two children, Riley Keough and Benjamin Keough. Following the tragic death of Benjamin in 2022, this would leave sole control of the Trust in the hands of Lisa Marie’s surviving daughter Riley, 33.
Whatever the reasons for this change, it is being fiercely contested by Priscilla who appears to have a strong objection to Riley acting as sole trustee.
While this might seem like a clear case of ‘tough luck’, Priscilla has challenged the validity of the amendments made by Lisa Marie in 2016 and, according to legal experts, has a ‘good chance’ of overturning the amendment – even though they believe it may take several years to resolve.
The reasoning for this boils down to the question of whether or not Lisa Marie’s 2016 amendments followed correct procedure, with Priscilla and her legal team arguing that they did not. Factors including a misspelt name and an inconsistent signature are being used to cast doubt on the validity of the 2016 amendments, but the biggest argument in Priscilla’s favour is the fact that the original 2010 document required that any changes had to be delivered to Priscilla during Lisa Marie’s lifetime – something Priscilla claims was not the case.
Of course, if Riley Keough agrees to Priscilla’s objection then this whole situation could be resolved very quickly. If not, then the ensuring legal battle could drag out for months or even years. However, if Priscilla is correct in her claims and Lisa Marie did not follow correct procedure then she has a strong chance of overturning the amendment, regardless of Lisa Marie’s intentions.
All this serves to highlight just how complicated managing Trusts and estates can be, and how easy it can be to fall foul of technicalities if procedures are not correctly followed – even if a Will or Trust is in place.
Dicky Davies, Director of Business Development at Tower Street Finance said: “The death of a loved one can be an extremely difficult time, something that can be heightened by having to contend with ambiguous documents, which is why getting proper advice is always key. In addition, the financial costs associated with settling an estate – especially if there is an inheritance tax bill to consider – can place added emotional strain on families that are trying to sort out an Estate.”
“This is why we have developed our Probate Lending solutions to be as straightforward and accessible as possible, to provide quicker access to funds and complete peace of mind.”