Michael Jackson names his mother as children's guardian in will

Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson's mother and the court-ordered temporary guardian of his children, was named in a will seven years ago as guardian of Jackson's children, Prince Micheal I, Paris Michael, and Prince Michael II, the LA Times is reporting. Jackson's parents had been seeking control of his assets and his children since his death. This document gives Katherine, who is 79, the children and puts the assets in a trust, but fails to name her as executor or give her any control over the finances, as she has sought.

Instead, the July 2002 will names John Branca, Jackson's entertainment attorney, and John McClain, a music executive, as executors. Katherine Jackson is said to have a contentious relationship with Branca. According to the LA Times, Jackson's "attorneys appeared to take a swipe at Branca," stating in the court papers filed to seek control of her son's assets, "A possible competing interest is a purported claim of an attorney who long ago was dismissed from the decedent's group of advisers and about whom the decedent stated that he never wanted the attorney to have anything further to do with his affairs."

Although this document will take center stage as the most current will, Katherine Jackson's court documents acknowledge the possible existence of one or several wills. Whether this acknowledgment is an attempt to discredit the July 2002 will (were it to be discovered before the courts ruled on the Jackson parents' estate grab), an indication that there are more recent wills, or simply a case of attorneys dealing with what is shaping up to be one of the most factious, complicated, long and agonizing estate battles in recent memory, is hard to know.

What is sure is that with aging, but always-combative parents, a tight coterie of attorneys, advisers and high-placed friends, countless creditors and partners, and two biological mothers of his children (one of whom has never been named, the other of whom cannot be found) -- we can guarantee many, many more rounds in this complex contest over Jackson's estate.

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