Michael's father Joe Jackson was not named as a custodian of the children, but is married to Katherine and will therefore become a de facto guardian. Jackson regularly said in interviews that his father Joe had abused him as a child. Joe and Katherine remain married but are believed to be separated, with Joe spending much of his time living in Las Vegas.
On Monday, a California judge granted Katherine Jackson temporary guardianship of her grandchildren.
Jackson and Rowe, mother of Jackson's two oldest children, were briefly married following their son's Prince's conception 12 years ago, but divorced six months after daughter Paris' birth. Rowe gave Jackson custody of the children, but sued him in 2006 for breach of contract in an attempt to regain custody. The pair settled out of court for undisclosed terms and Jackson retained custody.
Despite reports that Rowe has not been close to the family for more than a decade and may not be biological mother of any of the children, she would still have "an advantage" should she seek custody, lawyer Gloria Allred told "Good Morning America," despite the will's naming of Katherine as sole custodian.
Rowe reportedly signed away her parental rights to the children after the divorce, but in 2006 an appeals court reestablished her parental status.
"Katherine would have to show it would be detrimental [to the kids for Rowe to have custody]. That's a very heavy burden," Allred said.