Demonstrating the importance of properly executed estate planning documents is the recent death of Lisa Marie Presley and a petition filed in Los Angeles within weeks of her January 12, 2023 death, requesting a Judge to invalidate a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie’s estate plan.
The 2016 amendment removed Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, as well as a former business manager, Barry Siegel, as trustees of Lisa Marie’s estate, replacing them with Lisa Marie’s daughter, Riley Keough, and her now deceased son, Benjamin Keough.
The basis of the contest is a questionable signature by Lisa Marie that is allegedly “inconsistent with her usual and customary signature”, as well as the fact that Lisa Marie’s trust required that any trustees be notified of any changes to the trust. Priscilla alleges that neither she, nor Siegel, were notified of the change replacing them as trustees. Additionally, Lisa Marie’s name was apparently misspelled on the document that she signed, and the document itself was never witnessed or notarized.
Properly executing and following the exact requirements of a trust when making such changes is critical to avoid a potential contest. This, coupled with the fact that there is a potential inconsistent signature with no witnesses or notary to verify that Lisa Marie actually signed the amendment, may not bode well for its validity.