Elvis Presley’s death sent shockwaves across the world, leaving thousands of fans devastated. He also left his legacy in his daughter, Lisa Marie, as well as various family members anf former lovers. But how much did Elvis have to leave his family and who did he actually leave it to?
Who did Elvis Presley leave his fortune to?
Over the years, Presley was not left with the huge amounts of money one might expect, despite estimates placing his lifetime earnings between $100million and $1billion (£76.2million and £762million.)
Presley is reported to have enjoyed spending his money on his family and friends, and it has been alleged The King ran low on cash from time to time.
However, after his death, the figure he was reported to have in his bank account was a mere $5million (£3.8million) and lots of debt, meaning those names executors of his estate, including Priscilla Presley and his father Vernon, had little to work with.
They also had to pay a major IRS estate tax of $10million, (£7.6million) after the IRS determined the true value of Presley’s estate was worth more than just the measly amount previously thought.
As well as this, according to Forbes, the royalties on a large majority of Elvis’ music were owned by RCA, after his manager Colonel Tom Parker sold them for a little more than $5million.
This meant his family could not even expect a big amount of cash coming in on royalties, made worse by the fact that Parker had a 50 percent commission on everything he did for The King, so Elvis’ cut was only $1.35million (£1million.)
Parker was eventually taken to court to be removed from future earnings of Elvis’ work, and all agreements which stipulated Parker’s “exorbitant” fee were terminated.
Luckily, Priscilla took charge and turned Graceland, Elvis’ home, into a tourist attraction, which helped grow the estate significantly to around $100million by 1993.
In 1993, Lisa Marie turned 25, which meant she became eligible to inherit Elvis’ money directly from his will, as she was the primary heir to his massive fortune.
She became more closely linked to the trust created to manage her funds, the Elvis Presley Trust, until in 2005 when 85 percent of the estate’s business holdings were sold – though this excluded Graceland and all of the property within it.
However, it has not been plain sailing, as Forbes reported last March that Lisa Marie has sued Barry Siegel and his financial company, Provident Financial Management, over the management of the trust.
Lisa Marie named Siegel co-trustee in 2003 as the person primarily in charge of managing the assets.
In court documents, she claimed her $100 million fortune dropped to just $14,000 and piled up $500,000 in debt.
She also accused Siegel of dissipating her wealth “through his reckless and negligent mismanagement and self-serving ambition.”
Elvis’s only daughter then accused him of allegedly putting the funds “in risky ventures in hopes of attaining his own celebrity in the entertainment industry.”
She sued him for $100million in losses and at present it is not known how the case has proceeded, though it was revealed in September 2019 that Lisa Marie will not have to show any of her bank statements from February 2016 to now.
This would have been necessary as part of Siegel’s counterclaim, which accused Presley of “excessive spending.”
Siegel has denied the claims, arguing a number of his investments actually returned Presley a profit and accused her of losing the money through lavish spending habits. He has counter-sued her for $800,000.
Siegel and his attorney said in a filing: “Ms Presley finances after Mr Siegel’s termination go directly to her damages and her claims that she is broke.
“Thus, all of Ms Presley dealings with her accountants and other financial professionals post—2016, along with any analyses they performed of her financial situation and any discussions they had with Ms. Presley related to her finances, are potentially relevant.”
The attorney says Siegel stuck by Lisa Marie over the years, but now has “stopped paying my clients and is now blaming them for her uncontrollable spending habits.”
Documents filed by Siegel’s company Providence Financial Management claim: “Sadly, since inheriting her father’s estate in 1993, she has twice squandered it. The first time, she was rescued from insolvency by a deal she now calls fraudulent and self-serving.”
Both cases are still ongoing.
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