Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child, died unexpectedly at aged 54 after suffering cardiac arrest at her home in Southern California. Only two weeks later, and Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley had petitioned to challenge an aspect of her late daughter’s Will.
Priscilla’s attorney argues that an amendment to Lisa Marie’s Living Trust, (a type of document which allows a person to control an individual’s assets during their life and distribute them after their death) was not a valid amendment. The amendment, responsible for removing Priscila as a trustee, was drafted in 2016 and prevents Priscilla from overseeing the assets within her daughter’s estate.
In short, Priscilla argues the amendment incorrectly spells Priscilla’s name, is signed in a way which is “inconsistent with her usual and customary signature”, is not witnessed nor notarised and was not ‘delivered’ to Lisa Marie as specifically required by the trust document.
The numerous errors, Priscilla’s lawyers go on to argue, invalidate the 2016 amendment and thus the Will should be read as originally drafted in 2010 where Priscilla had greater control over her daughter’s estate and distribution of assets.
Priscilla’s challenge to her daughter’s estate, however, is merely one case in what is a growing area within the legal dispute world. The number of contentious probate cases have been on the rise year on year and with more people challenging Wills than ever before, it is important that your estate is professionally and securely planned to ensure peace of mind and security for the ones you love.
Priscilla Presley’s challenge to her daughter’s Will highlights the importance of seeking legal advice when putting Wills, Codicils and Trust Deeds in place. Whatever your situation, we can offer the specialist advice that you need and ensure that your Will or Codicil reflects your wishes and is correctly executed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and it is important to seek professional advice when a dispute over an estate arises.
How Moore Barlow can help
There are numerous reasons an individual may wish to challenge a person’s estate, and Moore Barlow’s Contentious Trusts & Estates Team offer the expertise and ability to advise and guide you through this process. Understandably disputes about Wills, estates and trusts can be emotionally charged, particularly when the people involved are family members or when the estate or trust has significant value. This is why it’s important to have the support and reassurance of our expert legal advice.
If you would like more information on contested probate claims, or the services our team can offer – please do not hesitate to contact our highly recognised Contentious Trusts & Estates Team.