Judge gives control of Michael Jackson estate to executors

Mon Jul 6, 2009 1:48pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - A Los Angeles judge handed temporary control of Michael Jackson's multimillion dollar estate on Monday to a lawyer and music industry executive named as co-executors in his 2002 will.

Lawyer John Branca and executive John McClain were named executors in a will Jackson signed in 2002 that left his estate, valued at more than $500 million, to a trust benefiting his three children, his mother, and charities.

The judge last week had given temporary control to Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, before the will surfaced.

"I think the law compels that result. I think that Mr. Jackson had felt comfortable, at least in 2002, with these individuals," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said at a hearing. Another date was set for August 3.

Separately, thousands of fans were picking up coveted tickets for the singer's memorial on Tuesday.

Singers Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder were among entertainers expected to perform or attend the event at the Staples Center sports arena in downtown Los Angeles.

The acting mayor of Los Angeles, Jan Perry, told NBC4 television that Jackson's family would hold a private burial at the city's Forest Lawn cemetery at 8 a.m. on Tuesday -- a couple of hours before the arena memorial.

About 1.6 million people registered to be among the 8,750 to receive two free tickets to the event. Successful fans lined up early on Monday to collect their tickets, although some tried to auction their vouchers on websites like eBay and Craigslist.   Continued...

<p>Visitors watch a video of a performance at the Michael Jackson exhibit in the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles July 3, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>