LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson’s estate has generated more than $310 million in the two years since the pop singer died deeply in debt, enabling executors to distribute a preliminary payment of $30 million to Jackson’s mother and children, and to unnamed charities, according to recently filed court documents.
Executors also disclosed Tuesday that Jackson’s mother, Katherine, is putting the family’s fabled Encino compound up for sale and wants the executors to negotiate the purchase of a new residence for her and the children, Paris, Prince and Michael Joseph Jr., known as Blanket.
The Encino property, where Jackson grew up and where several of his siblings lived in a cottage near their parents’ home was appraised at $4.15 million in 2010 but has since undergone extensive renovation. Katherine Jackson and the children moved out and have been living at a leased Calabasas home that is for sale for about $10 million. The executors said Katherine Jackson has identified a number of homes in that price range that would suit her needs and that of the children.
The executors said the trust and the California attorney general’s office, which is representing charities as beneficiaries of the estate, have been pressing for distribution of funds.
The executors, John Branca and John McClain, filed a detailed accounting of finances since Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009. By the end of last year, the estate had produced more than $310 million in gross revenues. “Since that date, the estate assets have continued to generate additional income,” the executors said.
Notably, they said they were able to refinance and secure the estate’s interest in the Michael Jackson music catalog, Mijac, and the Sony/ATV publishing catalog, which includes portions of the Beatles catalog.
They said they reduced debt obligations by more than $90 million and refinanced loans at lower interest rates. They also benefited from the release of the posthumous concert film, “This Is It,” and said they were able to pay off dozens of approved creditors’ claims as well as Jackson’s income taxes. Some creditor claims remain open, according to the documents, but the deadline for filing claims against the estate has passed.
“For a number of reasons, including without limitation, pending litigation and a pending estate tax audit, the estate is not yet in a condition to be closed,” the document said. They listed cash on hand of $90 million.
They indicated that the $30 million was a preliminary distribution to the trust and more would be forthcoming in the future.
A hearing for a judge’s approval of the plan is set for Sept. 28.
Jackson’s death remains in the news as his doctor, Conrad Murray, is set to go on trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. He is accused of negligently administering the anesthetic propofol.
Jackson died of an overdose of the drug he was using for sleep. At the time of his death, he was due to launch a concert tour in England. Rehearsal footage for that concert was the basis of the movie “This Is It.”