July 1st, 2009
07:35 PM ET

Documents: Michael Jackson's will

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/29/michael.jackson/art.jackson.kids.splash.jpg caption="Michael Jackson's 2002 will, which was filed in court today, lays out who the late singer wanted to look after his three children."]
Editor's Note: Below is Michael Jackson's 2002 will that was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court today by John Branca, the performer's longtime entertainment attorney and advisor. Among other things, it names legendary singer Diana Ross as the backup caregiver for Jackson's three children should his mother Katherine, the primary caregiver, pass away. For the latest on the will and the rest of the fallout from the King of Pop's death, tune in to AC360° tonight 10p ET.

Click here to read Michael Jackson's 2002 will.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Documents • Michael Jackson
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Carolyn M Turner

    My grandmother was 80 when I was born. She raised me for 9 years. I was the only child in the household. My mother worked then remarried when I was 9. Granny lived on to be 96. Mrs. Jackson looks healther than Granny and... my Granny was healthy 🙂 Mrs. Jackson can do this.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  2. Felicia

    A thought I think Ms.Katherine and Mr.Joesph are split up because everything lead to it the different address and stuff like that just a thought

    July 2, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  3. laura story allegan,mich..

    please leave mj alone just like he said in his song ..cant you here that hurt in his heart...the people that talk so bad about this man who are you . i just know that under your bed is just soooooooo clean..ha.ha give the family some respect..i will always love you micheal..and i would hope that all the peoples in the medical & pharmacy field get whats coming to them went the D.E.A. get's done with them...all my prayers go out to Mrs jackson she is the only one will keep her son kids safe.. for sure...!!!!!!! all my love laura

    July 2, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  4. Millie Garcia


    July 2, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  5. Angela from MI

    I Think that we should look at our on house hold and see if we would want it to go public.

    July 2, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  6. Wanda Medina

    My thoughts and prayers or with the children they need time to get over the lost of there father. I tnink it is good they are with there grandmother because I'm sure they fill more comfortable with her and they have the grandmothers love and caring. God Bless the children.

    July 2, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  7. james

    Its with deep pain and sorrow to have lost the king of pop under such suspicious circumstances, seing the pictures of his rehearsal for THIS IS IT concert shows how motivated he was to make a come back to the industry. I will remember him for his kind heart fot works of charity and espacially because of the we are the world charity in the 1980's. May his family find strength in the lord at this difficult time, and may his soul rest in etrnal peace.

    July 2, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  8. Anna

    Michael left his estate to his mom for a reason...he did not have a loving relationship with his dad, could you not tell by looking into his eyes whenever he discussed his father? I will truly miss him, I think he should have had this kind of support when he was alive because in essence while he was alive he was consistently criticised and I'm sure it tore him apart. I love you Michael and will always stand up for you, although I wasn't there I believe that you never intended any harm for anyone. I love you

    July 2, 2009 at 6:15 am |
  9. lynn

    Have we forgot what Michael Jackson has contributed to the music and dance industry? I remember growing up whith his music and dance. Please let his LEGEND be remembered for this.! It is easy to find guilt in someone, his goodness surely outways the bad... He appeared to be a loving father to his children. Who cares who the Daddy is... The children knew him as their dad and that is all that matters. Don't JUMP in because of what he has left, do it for the children. Michael, may you Rest in Peace (finally).

    July 2, 2009 at 6:12 am |
  10. sandra haynes

    I am glad Katherine has Micheal's children. Micheal loved his mom dearly and she will love her grandchildren just as much as she loved her son. I pray GOD will bless Katherine and Micheal's kids.Love you Micheal and I "WILL NEVER SAY GOODBYE" to you and or your music. I know you are dancing in heaven with the angels. Sandra

    July 2, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  11. alesha

    i think that my 13 year old daughter has a point about the media taking all this too far..i can see talking about it every so often but all the time its getting to where i dont even want to watch the news channels...I didnt even know until 5am wednesday that a little 10 yr old girl VANISHED on the FRIDAY after mj passed

    July 2, 2009 at 6:02 am |
  12. Sandra

    It's a shame that some people tried to put him into hell on earth when all he was about was love. He tried to bring people together with love through his music. Some just didn't care to understand him or his love. Micheal J understood what he was born to do through his music here on earth. Now God has called him home to sing with His Angels. I understood Michael J, if only I could have known him. I love Michael I'll always have him in my hart.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:09 am |
  13. Teresa

    My heart goes out to the family , I grew up with this guy @ his music will live on in my life.I just cant understand a man with his energy & always seemed in good shape why was he with a heart doctor anyway was he haveing heart problems., I mean I might would have understood if a regular doctor had been at the house with him , but why a heart doctor? Did Michael have heart problems before he died & if so why wasnt he at he hospital being treated.Had he been seeing this doctor for along time,and if so how long? I feel like something was not right about his death Im sure his family will get to the bottom of all of this. My prayers go out to all his friends and family,IM so sorry for their loss,He will be in my child hood memorys forever, Rest in Peace Micheal. Ps I think Janet should finish his last tour in her Brothers honor I think Michael and the fans would love this. All tickets are sold out why not keep it that way we all love Janet Jackson. No matter what anyone says about Mr Jackson he has a talented family. May God Bless Always.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:03 am |
  14. Sara

    A question about VI, he intentinally ommited his heirs. I thought your heirs were your children, a little confused about that section.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  15. Sonja

    I am privately mourning the death of my beloved Michael Jackson. There are people in this world who are skeptical, pessimistic, and have a negative way of thinking. Unfortunately society is what it is and every person is entitled to an opinion. Michael's artistry created opportunities and experiences we would have never known today had it not been for his existance. I believe all people are born into this world to do EXTRAORDINARY things. Not everyone has the ability or know-how to actually become EXTRAORDINARY. Michael was not perfect and never proclaimed to be. He suffered unjust persecution and public lynchings by some unsavory people during his lifetime. Those who choose to believe he was a good man, an exceptional humanitarian, a caring loving father to his children that he cared for since birth, and a phenomenal artist and performer....KNOW that Michael is in a place of eternal rest and peace and has left of with a lifetime of memories. For those who choose to believe negative things and make thoughtless and inflamatory comments, Michael will never be hurt by your critism, insults, or speculations ever again because he is no longer with us here in the world as we know it. Michael's LEGACY lives on and there will never be a final curtain call for those who love him, only for those who did not. God bless Michael's soul, God bless the Jackson children, God bless the Jackson family members, and God bless Michael Joseph Jackson's dedicated fans across the world! Thank you CNN for responsibly reporting the information and facts about this rivoting event. Also, I wish to send my condolences and prayers to the families of so many people who have lost loved ones this year, including myself.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:41 am |
  16. AZ

    Yes, everyone loved Michael, except the one person he truly needed the love from. It's too late for him, but there are a lot of children, friends, neighbours or strangers that might need a smile, a pat on the back for a job well done or just a little bit of encouragement when it looks like they want to give up. There's always someone around you that could use a little bit of that love we all seem to have.

    DH, you make a valid point and observation; I'm with you.
    Michele, the physical abuse may have happened over 40 years ago, but trust me, the scars will always be there. Mental and verbal abuse is/was a major factor in their upbringing. THAT type of abuse is the absolute worst because the marks it leaves are forever etched inside and will never heal.
    Judy, Mr. & Mrs. Jackson are separated, thankfully. One can only hope that Joseph will not have any influence on the children.
    AF, would you say the same if a child was left orphaned after his/her adoptive parents died? Whatever you've been smoking, it's time to stop.

    I would like to think that most of you have a least eight years of education, but you can't tell by the incredibly horrid grammar and spelling in these comments.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:41 am |
  17. valerie

    I hope that Michael is finally at peace. Lord knows he needed it. My heart just aches when I think of how unhappy this man who so many loved must have fealt. It's sad that he's not here to see the outpouring of love for him. Why couldn't we all have been this way when he was alive? As for the kids, I can understand him wanting his mom to raise them, but I would only want that if she and Joseph(evil) Jackson were divorced and was guaranteed that he'd have no dealings with those kids. He's already destroyed one life, please let's not give him the opportunity to do the same thing to these poor kids. I'm sure they're hurting enough. RIP Michael Jackson, we will forever love you and never forget you.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:37 am |
  18. waylon crites

    not to be smart but hope joe jackson does not have any rights over anything or the kids . and if this is his real will thenlet his wishes be fullfiled

    July 2, 2009 at 2:29 am |
  19. Marjorie Stanello

    Hello Anderson, Marjorie here.

    I just want to say thank you Michael Jackson for giving, and sharing and touching so many. God bless the three babes. Please keep them safe and bring peace to them. There is a great deal of adversity in their young lives already. I have endured the adversity of many forms of abuse in my young life and I am much stronger for it. I pray for strength for the three babes. Also the man I love the most in my life is my father (step father) So, to the babes, Father is the one who is there for you always. Father is the one who cares, loves, protects, shares themself, disiplines, and plays. A father has you in his heart always. Forever more. Your father is and always will be Michael Joseph Jackson. He picked you three babes above all others. Love in humanity, Marjorie

    Anderson, I have watched many reporters and I am greatful to you because of your senserity. Thank you so much. Marjorie

    July 2, 2009 at 2:28 am |
  20. brian

    love for michael beyond the grave; if you are know in the four corners of the globe then that automatically makes you a major icon and 95percent of those genuinely cared for
    him. I sure a man who acquired this much status has to be smart. He lived his life they way he wanted too just as you and I do. But we don't/didn't have the wealth he had to make our dreams and fantasies come true. Michael accomplished just that. Hats off to you mike for using your own money that way you wanted to use it.
    Rest in peace
    New Orleans, la

    July 2, 2009 at 2:26 am |
  21. meonia

    i loved Michal Jackson for many many years and i hope is children will follow in his foot steps but Michal will always and be the king of pop

    July 2, 2009 at 2:25 am |
  22. Jacqueline Gayle

    This is such a sad ending for a beautiful, caring and sensitive person. He yearned for acceptance from his horrible, monster of a father and never got it. Thank God for his wonderful mother and loving siblings (Janet and Jermaine in particular). It is so important to nurture and care for your children in the formative years...it determines who they are as adults. Life is a "spin" and our Divine Father sees all. And for all the orchestrated allegations..it will come back to haunt all the perpertrators. I pray that Micheal's soul is well and that he has finally found peace. He was the best ever and I will truly miss him. God bless you Michael...you are an angel now.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:23 am |
  23. tomas

    Thank you , Gamma The kids would have to be pretty dense to not be able to figure out that they don't have traditional African American features regardless of how Michael looked at various times throughout his life. It is a shame that Joe and Kathrine are not divorced but fortunately Joe reside in Vegas and Katherine in CA perhaps now she will have the strength to divorce him and move on with her life. As far as the siblings, Michael had issues with most of them from earlier times since he was the youngest of the boys and the older male siblings never did anything to protect him from Joe as they were growing up and when they were old enough to stand up to him on each others behalf. Now also think about the fact that this will is from 2002 and the female siblings would each have been 7 years younger at the time this document was drawn up and at that time, Michael may not have thought they would have been appropriate and just never changed or updated his will. As far as Diana Ross and her not being there during the trials, she herself has stated that she lives mostly in Europe with her husband and children, so she should have left them halfway around the world to be with Michael and then all of you would be calling her out as a bad parent at that time. The first young person was only mentioned briefly this week as having stated that he was coerced into making his accusations per his parent's prompting to secure money and that he now feels bad that he never got the chance to apologize to Michael and to correct the information on that situation. Granted, Michael did not help himself on the one documentary when he commented on sharing your bed with a child. It might not have been so shocking had he already had his own children at that point and his point of view or intent was to be there as a comfort to the children. He never was convicted on the second charges so only he, God and the children know for sure. In any event we are a country that is over consumed and concerned with these issues- the children and family deserve love and peace and God's support in moving forward.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:15 am |
  24. Leslie Cooper

    There are so many haters out there . Saying Michael was not an Icon ou are out of your hater mind . The only way you dont know nwho Michael Jackson and the whole Jckson family is if you dont live on ths PLANET He is an icon . love u always Michael no mter what they say abut you .Peace to all of the Jackson Family. The WORLD loved Michael !

    July 2, 2009 at 2:05 am |
  25. Tomia

    I definitely believe that Katherine Jackson should have custody of the children. I really don't think that Joe is around that much and if he is, I don't think that he has the energy to be abusive anymore. Not physically anyway. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson have a ton of other grandchildren and I think the kids would probably love it there. They would finally get the opportunity to live normal lives. I'm curious to know what he left his brothers and sisters. I heard on CNN that he left money to some of his nieces and nephews but it doesn't say in the will. This must only be part of the will that is posted???
    Oh yea, Diana Ross has plenty of money of her own. She is probably really enjoying her life right now. I wonder if she wants to raise another set of kids? I think Katherine will be around for a long time as long as she doesn't let everyone bug her to death about money. You think?

    July 2, 2009 at 1:57 am |
  26. Alicia

    Michael Jackson.... so much controversy. I myself have never fed into all the negative. I look for all the positive in everyone. Yes he may have been brought up on charges, but as a criminal justice major, i know that it is not all cut and dry. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. He was never convicted of anything. I am shocked, as is most of the world at his death. I feel that the investigation into his death is being handled in a very professional, procedural manner. The nurse who most recently came out should be ashamed of herself. She stated that she was concerned, but yet she didn't mentioned the incident to no one until AFTER his death. The media has done an extraordinary job as far as reporting goes. Anderson Cooper especially. He doesnt jump to conclusions, and just wants to report the facts. The question of paternity should not even be an issue. Those were Michael's children PERIOD. My prayers go out to the family. Michael was an ICON, I have never seen grown men pass out just on sight. His contributions to society, nor will his talent, or his being ever be forgotten. God Bless.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:53 am |
  27. Luana Ausama

    I think CNN is doing a very good job covering the King of Pop. Reporting the good and the bad. But I also think that the children should be off limits because they are innocent. Please give them the repect that you would want for your children. Love your show

    July 2, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  28. shea

    at this point he just needs to be laid to rest in in peace!

    July 2, 2009 at 1:37 am |
  29. Cherie


    Michael Jackson was a true icon for Generation X. We looked up to this man for style, grace and for many years he was the ideal African -American figure of our generation. Regardless of his faults, he was a pioneer in his industry where there were few African- American’s that were allowed to break barriers, guess what?... he destroyed them. We all need to focus on the many attributes and triumphs he had in his short life and give his children these treasures to remember him by and not the negative images. Please state facts about him and let them (his children) be the judge about their father's legacy. Fact: He is the most successful recording artist of all time. Fact: He has given more than 300 million dollars to charity. And guess what... These facts cannot ever be destroyed or denied.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  30. Kandice

    I wish everyone would stop talking about Joe Jackson and the kids. Joe did the same thing all blacks parents did back in the day. They spanked our butts. The bible says spare the rod spoil the child. Maybe sweet Michael was more sensitive than most. Maybe Joe was a bit hard. But he is not gonna touch those kids. Its a new day, with new rules.
    The Jackson Family is where those kids should be, with their Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins. That is just what happens in blacks families all over the United States.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  31. Nicole

    Sorry Mike from NY,But yes he was and always will b an EPIC ICON! Now live wit' it FOOL!!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  32. BEAT IT

    I have just became a BIG fan since the death.. & i was very sad & I THINk THAT THE MEDIA SHOULD LET ALL THE LIES and rumors Go!! we should focous on all the good he has done..... and we should be more concerned about the children.....i think that his mother or one of his brothers or sisters would the right person for the children 2 live with !¡

    July 2, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  33. James S. Witherspoon

    Truely Michael, you will forever be in our hearts. You were a cheerful giver to the needy. Your support to SOS International/Liberia, make it possible for thousands children around the world to still alive today. Michael, I'm a product of your generosity toward the needy and for this and many others I will forever be exceedingly grateful to you and your family. You will be missed, we love you but God loves you best. REST IN PEACE.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  34. ramona garza

    i luv michael jackson song and im only 12 and im young but i luv all the newz about him on tv so i hope his kidz r al rite so r.i.p king of pop and we all will remember u 4ever

    July 2, 2009 at 1:12 am |
  35. Rosalie

    Why not let the nanny still take care of the children. This way the childrens will not feel lonely and she can make sure Joe do not harm them.
    Joe Jackson shame on you. Your son is not yet bury and you are still trying to make money under Michael's name.
    My thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s children, his mother and the rest of the Jackson family.

    July 2, 2009 at 12:55 am |
  36. Reather

    Michael Jackson is a true legend. I will miss his music and his talented dance moves. No one can WOW the entire world like Michael. My deepest sympathy goes out to the entire Jackson family. May God's blessings be with you.

    July 2, 2009 at 12:51 am |
  37. jennifer ford

    yes michael did put just his moms name on the will because he absolutely adored and loved his mom

    and placed diana ross as second because they were very close no she may not have been there by his side during the trial but they talk a lot over the phone

    and for those of you who say that michael did not have vitaligo and lupas i beg to differ with you they even found that to be true

    I do not believe that michael died due to drugs it was his disease lupas that finally took its toll on him

    I do not believe this wacked up nurse she is so full of it

    michael may have had an addiction in the past but he seeked help for that i can't see this man for any reason to have taken some kind of medication to hurt himself he had so much at stake his kids his love for entertaining he truly enjoyed and loved his fans

    he had all these people around him but yet he was so lonely and all he ever wanted was to be truly loved

    so please whether youre a fan or not lets at least give michael the respect he deserves he has done so much good in this world

    Now let's stay focused on all that love he gave us

    God bless you michael and the entire Jackson family

    You will forever live on

    Miss you much

    July 2, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  38. Jana, California

    I'm not surprised about Diana Ross being in the wil. I'm VERY surprised, since the Jackson's lead everyone to believe, they are SOOO close, that, NOT ONE of his brothers or his sisters WERE NOT mentioned at all to take care of his three kids should his Mom not be able to. After all, she IS 79 years old.

    The other night, I saw an interview, from 15 years ago, with LaToya being interviewed by Geraldo Rivera. In that interview, out of LaToya's mouth came the accusations of, "what is/are they doing in there for one day, two days, three days, sometimes more." LaToya was referring to Michael being in his room with MORE than one young boy, although not all at one time. Since SHE thought something weird was going on, that would be a SEVERE blow from HIS own sibling. I SERIOUSLY DOUBT there is "lovey dovey" going on in the Jackson family. He even left his father out of the wil. In his case, he should have.

    Diana Ross may be a long time friend to Michael, but, she sure was NOWHERE to be found during his trial. She couldn't be bothered, she lives in Europe with her hubby. So what!

    Leave it to the Jackson's, this garbage is just getting worse and worse. Those kids will be so f**#%^%d up, like their Dad, they won't know which end is up!

    July 2, 2009 at 12:31 am |
  39. Sheri D

    I believe that M J knew that something was seriously wrong with him
    why he did't go to the hospital, we're never know but I also believe that the people in his home let him DIE; I do believe he could have been saved you do Rescue Breathing, when you are not breathing and have a Pulse. That doctor wants us to believe he tried all he could he did't even want the person on the phone to tell he was there. he knew what he was suppose to do and did't do it and they all got scared took everything they could get them call 911 they all should be in PRISON
    he was living there for 2 weeks and who knows how long he has been going in and out . the first time they said it on TV I knew it . all of them are Lieing, if I was getting 150,000 a month I would Lie tooo.

    July 2, 2009 at 12:29 am |
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