Lisa Marie Presley Estate Battle: Priscilla Presley's Co-Trustee Acknowledged Amendment to Trust in Court Docs
Lisa Marie Presley's former manager Barry Siegel refers to himself as "one of the former co-trustees of The Promenade Trust" in a legal document filed on Aug. 13, 2019 in Los Angeles County.
Priscilla Presley is requesting that a judge declare an updated version of her daughter Lisa Marie Presley's living trust invalid, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles County and obtained by Inside Edition Digital.
The ex-wife of singer Elvis Presley says in her legal filing that it was not until after her daughter's death that she learned Lisa Marie allegedly amended her trust in 2016 and removed her and Lisa Marie's former business manager Barry Siegel as co-trustees.
In their place, Lisa Marie named daughter Riley Keough and her late son Benjamin Keough as co-trustees, according to the court filing.
In her court filing, Priscilla alleges that there "are many issues surrounding the authenticity and validity of the Purported 2016 Amendment," including:
- The Purported 2016 Amendment was never delivered to Petitioner during Lisa Marie Presley's lifetime as required by the express terms of the Trust.
- The date of the Purported Trust Amendment was added via .pdf on March 14.
- The Purported 2016 Amendment, allegedly signed by Lisa Marie Presley, misspells her mother's name.
- No provisions of the Purported 2016 Amendment appear on the signature page.
- Lisa Marie Presley's signature appears inconsistent with her usual and customary signature.
- The Purported 2016 Amendment was neither witnessed nor notarized.
Priscilla "requests an order from this court determining that the Purported 2016 Amendment is invalid, confirming the validity and existence of the restated 2010 Trust, and confirming that Petitioner is a current Trustee of the Trust," in her legal filing.
Inside Edition Digital obtained a copy of Lisa Marie's 2010 Living Trust, which says: "Any amendment affecting the powers, duties, or compensation of the Trustee shall be effective only upon the Trustee’s acceptance of said amendment."
Priscilla says in her court filing that she never accepted this amendment, but her co-trustee acknowledged there had been an update to that 2010 trust.
Siegel stated in 2019 that he was no longer a trustee in legal documents he filed during his two-year court battle with Lisa Marie.
She sued Siegel in 2018, accusing her business manager and "former trustee" of "dissipat[ing] her wealth through his reckless and negligent mismanagement, and self-serving ambition, leaving her millions of dollars in debt."
Siegel countersued, claiming that her allegations were baseless and false. He also alleged that "the entire Presley estate faced significant financial problems, and both Lisa and the Promenade Trust were heavily in debt" when he came on board, and that after securing the money to cover the debts in a 2005 deal, "Lisa continued her extravagant spending despite all the advice she received, spending Virtually her entire fortune once again by 2012."
Siegel refers to himself as "one of the former co-trustees of The Promenade Trust" in a legal document filed on Aug. 13, 2019 in Los Angeles County
That same document provides Siegel's timeline of his tenure as trustee.
"Siegel conscientiously performed his duties as the Trustee, and provided Lisa with financial information, as he was required to do," reads the court filing. "From 2004 through 2010, Siegel did not have duty to provide formal accounting under the Trust instrument; his only obligation was to provide reports to Lisa, which he did. Then, from 2010 through 2016, after the Trust was amended, Siegel provided Lisa the financial information required by Probate Code 16063 every year."
Lisa Marie also refers to Siegel as a "former trustee" in an Aug. 2019 filing, and in her initial complaint provides a timeline similar to the one Siegel provided to the court.
"In 2005, due in large part to her ownership in Elvis Presley Enterprises ('EPE' or 'Elvis Enterprises'), Lisa held assets in Trust worth in excess of $100 million," Lisa Marie's initial filing in 2018 reads. "Over the course of the next 11 years, the Trustee of her Trust, Barry J. Siegel, would dissipate her wealth through his reckless and negligent mismanagement, and self-serving ambition, leaving her millions of dollars in debt."
Priscilla explained her reasons for wanting to serve as co-trustee in a pair of statements provided to Inside Edition Digital by her publicist.
"My wish is to protect my three grandchildren and keep our family together," Priscilla tells Inside Edition Digital in her initial statement. "From the first moment I held Lisa in my arms, I’ve protected, loved and guided her, as I have my son. Our hearts are broken, and I am having to learn to live without my only daughter."
A spokesperson for Riley Keogh declined to comment when reached by Inside Edition Digital.
Priscilla's second statement on the matter came after Joel Weinshanker, the managing partner at Elvis Presley Enterprises, said in an interview on Sirius XM's Elvis Radio that Lisa Marie would not approve of her mother's actions.
"Everyone knew that when Elvis passed away, he left everything to his little girl. He did so knowing that she would be the one to keep his legacy going," Joel said in a radio interview. "[Lisa and I] got along well because we were both trying to do what was best for Elvis, regardless of what somebody else was trying to do, regardless of what a family member would do."
Weinshanker also spoke about Lisa's character.
"Lisa couldn't be bought, she couldn't be pushed, if she felt that something wasn't in Elvis' best interest. It was never about money. And she really is the only Presley that you could say that about," Weinshanker said.
Weinshanker said he discussed the living trust multiple times with Lisa Marie and that it was "always Riley and Ben, her son and daughter."
"There was never a question in her mind that they would be the stewards, that they would look after it the exact same way that she did," he said. "And obviously when Ben passed, it really sat with Riley. Riley always had an interest and always knew that one day she would be in charge."
In response to Weinshanker's statement, Priscilla says: "I loved Elvis very much as he loved me. Lisa is a result of our love. For anyone to think anything differently would be a travesty of the family legacy and would be disrespectful of what Elvis left behind in his life. There is an individual ... that is trying to speak on behalf of our family. This person is not a representative of Elvis or our family.
"Please allow us the time we need to work together and sort this out. Please ignore 'the noise,'" she continues. "As I have always been there for Elvis' legacy, our family and the fans, I will continue to forge a pathway forward with respect, honesty, dignity, integrity and love."
Any role Priscilla has ever had in relation to the estate of her late husband has been because of her daughter.
Priscilla is not mentioned by name in Elvis' will, and only gained access to his estate upon being appointed by Lisa Marie to serve as a co-trustee of her trust.
In his final will and testament, Elvis appointed his father, Vernon, as executor and trustee, giving him the freedom to distribute funds to four beneficiaries — himself, Elvis' grandmother Minnie Mae, his daughter Lisa Marie, and "relatives ... in need of emergency assistance."
The will stipulates that after Vernon's death, no relative may receive money from the estate and after the death of both Vernon and Minnie, the remaining money be divided equally among Elvis' lawful children.
Elvis stated that upon Vernon's death, the National Bank of Commerce in Memphis would become the executor of his estate.
The only provision provided to Priscilla in the will was money for Lisa Marie prior to her 25th birthday, at which time she would be able to access her trust.
Lisa Marie assumed control of the estate in 1993 and formed a new trust with her mother and the National Bank. Priscilla would have not been able to access any of the funds generated by Elvis' estate if not for her daughter's decision to name her as co-trustee.
This new trust created Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE), and in 2005 Lisa Marie sold 85% of her stake in the company.
The deal was worth approximately $100 million for a share that would now be worth $850 million. That 85% stake changed hands again in 2013, and is now controlled by Graceland Holdings LLC. That sale had no impact on Lisa Marie's ownership.
EPE continues to manage the operations of Graceland and its related properties as well as the Graceland Archives, which is comprised of thousands of artifacts from Elvis’ home and career. That company also produces and licenses Elvis' likeness, Elvis-themed live events, tours and attractions worldwide.
Lisa Marie retained 15% ownership in EPE at the time of her death, as well as complete ownership of Graceland Mansion and the 13 acres of land her father acquired when he initially purchased the property. She also owned all of her father's personal effects and memorabilia, including his costumes and stage wardrobe, awards and cars.
As part of the deal made at the time of the 2005 sale, Lisa Marie agreed to lend out the home and the memorabilia to EPE, which in turn oversaw day-to-day operations at Graceland.
That agreement will continue with Lisa Marie's three daughters. A representative for Graceland previously told Inside Edition Digital that Riley Keough and Finley and Harper Lockwood will inherit their mother's portion of the property and her 15% stake in the estate of her late father.
"Nothing will change with the operation or management," a representative tells Inside Edition Digital.
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