Who Gets Jackson's Money? Joe, Siblings Stiffed
Assets from trust to go to his mother, his kids and to charity.
July 2, 2009 -- Who will get Michael Jackson's money? Days after the pop singer died in Los Angeles, his intentions are now coming into focus.
Money from a trust set up by Jackson will be divided between his mother Katherine, who will get 40 percent of his assets, his three children, who will get another 40 percent, and several children's charities to be designated at a later date, which will get the remaining 20 percent, a source close to the estate told ABC News.
He leaves nothing to his siblings, his father Joe Jackson, or anyone else, according to the source.
Jackson's will was filed in a Los Angeles courthouse Wednesday, expressing Jackson's wish to give custody of his three young children to their 79-year-old grandmother and cutting out his ex-wife Debbie Rowe.
All assets will be placed in a trust to be executed by two trusted advisers, the specifics of which may never be made public.
Jackson gave custody of his three children, two sons and a daughter, aged 7 to 12, to his mother Katherine Jackson. In the will Jackson specified that if his mother died before he did, then singer and longtime Jackson friend Diana Ross would gain custody of the children.
The specifics of how Jackson wanted his estate to be distributed are not included in the 2002 will, but in a separate document overseeing the trust. Jackson mentions his three children by name, but none of the other members of his family are named as beneficiaries.
The will specifies that Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife, and mother of his first two children has been "intentionally omitted" from receiving anything.
Jackson, 50, who died June 25 of an apparent cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, named John Branca, his attorney, John McClain, a friend and record executive, and Barry Siegel, his accountant, as executors of the Michael Jackson Family Trust.
In 2003, Siegel resigned from his role as trustee, according to a statement issued on behalf of the named trustees.
The documents said Jackson's estate consisted almost entirely of "non-cash, non-liquid assets, including primarily an interest in a catalogue of music royalty rights which is currently being administered by Sony ATV, and the interests of various entities."
Jackson had $567.6 million in assets, including his Neverland Ranch and his share of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog, which includes the rights to songs by the Beatles, according to the AP.
The AP analysis puts a net value on Jackson's 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV catalog — his most prized asset — at $390.6 million. The 750,000-song catalog also includes music by Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers.
By putting the specifics of how he wanted his estate distributed in a trust rather than in the will itself allowed Jackson's wishes to remain private, lawyers said.
"Celebrities typically establish living trusts to avoid probate, which is a very public process," said Andy Katzenstein, a Los Angeles-based estate lawyer.
"In a trust you, the odds are it will never be made public and we'll never what was in it. The will, on the other hand, has to be made public," Katzenstein said.
The will does not specify how Jackson wanted to be laid to rest, fueling speculation about where Jackson might be buried.
A family spokesman Wednesday quashed a rumor that Jackson would be laid in state and possibly buried at Neverland Ranch.
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events