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Lisa Marie Presley’s Will Trust – Why Is Its Validity Being Contested?

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On 12th January 2023, Lisa Marie Presley died at the age of 54.  She was the daughter of Elvis Presley and his ex-wife Priscilla Presley.  Priscilla has since issued a Court petition challenging the validity of an amendment to her daughter’s 2010 Will, done in 2016.

The amendment removes Priscilla and Lisa Marie’s former business manager, Barry Siegel, as Trustees and replaces them with two of Lisa Marie’s children, Riley Keogh and Benjamin Keogh.  Benjamin died in 2020, leaving Riley as the sole trustee.

Priscilla argues that she has only become aware of the amendment since her daughter’s death as it was never delivered to her during her daughter’s lifetime, as specifically required by the Will.

Priscilla’s removal as a trustee means that she no longer has the authority to oversee the assets in Lisa Marie’s estate, which include monies inherited from Elvis Presley and is estimated to have a net worth of around $16 million.

The validity of the amendment is being contested for a number of reasons.  First, Priscilla’s name is misspelt in the document.  According to Priscilla’s legal team, this raises a suggestion that Lisa Marie did not review the contents of the document before it was signed as she would have noticed something as simple as a misspelling of her own mother’s first name.

There is also an argument that Lisa Marie’s signature “appears inconsistent with her usual and customary signature”, which raises potential issues surrounding fraud and forgery.

Priscilla’s lawyers also say that the amendment was not correctly witnessed.

Under Section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, a Will is not valid unless:-

  1. It is in writing and signed by the person making the Will (or by some other person in his presence and by his direction); and
  2. It appears that the person making the Will intended by his signature to give effect to the Will; and
  3. The person making the Will signs the document in the presence of two or more witnesses who are present at the same time; and
  4. Each witness either signs the Will or acknowledges the signature in the presence of the person making the Will.

It is important to ensure the validity of a legal document and it is good practice to regularly review your Will and other documents to ensure your affairs are in order.

If you would like any further information, please contact a member of our Wills and Estate Planning department on 01256 320555 or mail@clarkeandson.co.uk 

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