How Lisa Marie Presley Lost Control of Elvis' Billion-Dollar Estate

That estate is now valued at approximately $1 billion, but the Presley family has little control over the operation.

The sudden death of Lisa Marie Presley means that her three daughters will become the new owners of their grandfather's historic estate, Graceland.

It is one of the few things their mother controlled at the time of her death, despite becoming the sole owner of Elvis Presley's estate at the age of 25.

A series of questionable business decisions that Lisa Marie would publicly question in subsequent years saw her control over the estate gradually dwindle over the past 30 years while the value of the estate continued to grow with each passing year.

That estate is now valued at approximately $1 billion, but the Presley family has little control over the operation.

Lisa Marie will return to Graceland this weekend, where she will be buried alongside the King of Rock and her son, Benjamin Keough, who took his own life in July 2020.

She is survived by her mother, Priscilla, and three daughters: Riley Keough and teenage twins Harper and Finley Lockwood.

A representative for Graceland said that Presley's three daughters will inherit a small part of the property and a 15% stake in the estate.

The representative then explained the current ownership of Elvis' estate and the timeline of events from the death of Elvis in 1977 to Lisa Marie's death last week.

Lisa Marie was one of the three beneficiaries of her father's estate when he passed away in 1977, the representative tells Inside Edition Digital.

The other two were Elvis' mother, Minnie Mae, and father, Vernon, who was appointed executor and trustee.

The deaths of Minnie Mae and Vernon left Lisa Marie as the sole beneficiary by 1980, but her father stipulated in his will that her inheritance be held in a trust until she turned 25.

Upon Vernon's death a new set of trustees was appointed, which included the National Bank of Commerce in Memphis, Elvis' longtime accountant, and the singer's estranged wife, Priscilla.

Soon after becoming a trustee, Priscilla suggested opening Graceland to the public. 

Lisa Marie assumed control of the estate in 1993 and formed a new trust with her mother and the National Bank.

That new trust created Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., 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 that 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, who in turn oversaw day-to-day operations at Graceland.

That agreement will continue with Lisa Marie's three daughters.

"Nothing will change with the operation or management," explained the representative.

At the same time, there are still a number of unknown factors that could come into play.

The executors are not known, and it is unclear if she placed her minor daughters' inheritances in a trust.

Lisa Marie also died with over $1.9 million of debt according to court documents filed in her ongoing custody battle with Michael Lockwood, her ex-husband and the father of her twin daughters.

A representative for the family declined to comment on Lisa Marie's estate, but a representative for daughter Riley Keough tells Inside Edition Digital: "Riley, Harper, Finley, and Priscilla are grateful for the support, well-wishes, and outpouring of love honoring their beloved Lisa Marie."


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