Hallmark Alum Takes Legal Action After Daughter’s Tragic Death

Lisa Marie Presley's grave

Getty Lisa Marie Presley's grave adorned with flowers at Graceland

On the same day Priscilla Presley issued a statement to fans about her grief over the death of her daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, the actress asked a Los Angeles judge to ensure that she gets to control the financial assets left behind by her only daughter with music icon Elvis Presley. Lisa Marie died at age 54 on January 12, 2023, after experiencing possible cardiac arrest at her California home. Priscilla, who appeared in two Hallmark Channel movies filmed at Graceland — her family’s historic Memphis mansion — is questioning the validity of an amendment made to Lisa Marie’s trust in 2016 that aimed to switch control of her estate over to her kids, instead of to Priscilla and Lisa Marie’s former manager. Here’s what you need to know:

Priscilla Presley Tweeted Gratitude to Fans Amid Court Filings

Priscilla Presley

GettyPriscilla Presley speaks at the public memorial at Graceland for Lisa Marie Presley on January 22, 2023

A public memorial was held at Graceland on January 22 for Lisa Marie, with heartfelt speeches by family members including Priscilla and Lisa Marie’s eldest daughter, actress Riley Keough. The next day, Priscilla, 77, issued a statement to fans via Twitter.

“Thank you all for your condolences, you have touched me with your words,” she wrote on January 23. “It has been a very difficult time but just knowing your love is out there makes a difference.”

Three days later, on January 26, she added to that tweet, writing, “To YOU, I’m truly overwhelmed with your words, your prayers, your love and your support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart in trying to help me get through this loss. Every parent who has lost a daughter or son knows what a dark painstaking journey it is.” Priscilla added a broken heart emoji at the end.

That same day, according to court documents obtained by NBC News, Priscilla asked a judge to declare that a “purported” 2016 amendment made to Lisa Marie’s trust be declared invalid. Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the documents ask that Priscilla maintains control of her daughter’s trust instead of her granddaughter.

According to NBC News, Lisa Marie created a living trust in 1993, a legal document designed to protect her assets and relay how they should be distributed after her death. In her court filing, Priscilla says the trust was “completely restated” on Jan. 27, 2010, with her and Lisa Marie’s former business manager, Barry Siegel, named as co-trustees, just as they had been in the original document.

However, Lisa Marie had a rocky relationship with Siegel and wound up suing him for $100 million, claiming his investments left her with next to nothing.

Lisa Marie Presley Fought Business Manager Whom Priscilla Presley Says is Her Co-Trustee

The Presley family

Getty(L-R) Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, and Riley Keough attend their Handprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre in June 2022

In 2018, Us Weekly reported that Lisa Marie claimed Siegel, who oversaw the trust that her dad left for her upon his death in 1977, ran it into the ground. In court documents obtained by the outlet, Lisa Marie said Siegel sold 85 percent of her interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises for $100 million in 2005, and used the money to invest in Core Entertainment, which went bankrupt in 2016. Lisa Marie sued Siegel for $100 million in 2018, saying his bad investments left her with just $14,000 to her name.

Siegel countersued Lisa Marie but it’s not clear if a settlement was ever reached. Meanwhile, in June 2022, Radar Online reported that Lisa Marie’s ex-husband, Michael Lockwood, indicated that her finances had improved and he was in need of spousal support.

In the new court filing by her mom, according to Entertainment Tonight, Priscilla said she found a document dated March 11, 2016, that claimed “to be an amendment” to Lisa Marie’s trust, ousting her and Siegel as co-trustees and giving control to Lisa Marie’s two grown children, Keough and her brother Ben, who died by suicide in 2020. Lisa Marie also left behind twin girls, 14-year-old Finley and Harper, whom she shared with ex-husband Lockwood.

Priscilla thinks the 2016 amendment is invalid, though, writing in her court filing that “there are many issues surrounding the authenticity and validity of the purported 2016 amendment.” Those issues include Priscilla’s name being misspelled in the document, that Lisa Marie’s signature doesn’t look her usual signature, and that the document “was never delivered to (Priscilla) during Lisa Marie Presley’s lifetime as required by the express terms of the Trust.”

So Priscilla went to court to make sure Keough, 33, isn’t left with everything. Before her legal filing, a rep for Graceland told The New York Post on January 17, “The trust (which includes Graceland) will go to Lisa Marie’s daughters Riley, Finley and Harper.”

Priscilla has always been very protective of Graceland, where she and Elvis lived during their marriage. In September 2019, during an appearance on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family,” she said she had been wary about opening it up to the public in 1982.

“It was very difficult, not just a little, it was really difficult,” she said. “Because it is still a home, but it’s always felt that way. When you walk into Graceland to this day, you feel like you’re going into someone’s home that’s still living there, you feel he’s still there. I walk in that door and I still feel his presence, I still can hear the music playing in the background with the piano room.”

“So, to have people come in,” she continued, “I had to resolve it to the fact that it made so many people happy, and they’ve been so respectful.”

Keough, whose new Amazon series — ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ — debuts on March 3, has not commented publicly on her grandmother’s legal action regarding the trust.

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