Compensation approved for Michael Jackson estate administrators

Michael Jackson, on his visit to the White House in 1984. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Michael Jackson, on his visit to the White House in 1984. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two men administering Michael Jackson’s estate will receive a total of 10 percent of its profits minus several sizable assets, a judge agreed Wednesday.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff approved the compensation for attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain, who have been administering the singer’s estate since shortly after his death on June 25.

Branca and McClain will each receive 5 percent of the estate’s profits, minus earnings from the recent This Is It movie and Jackson’s interest in lucrative Sony-ATV music catalog.

Beckloff approved the arrangement after discussing it with various attorneys representing Branca, McClain, Jackson’s children and the singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson.

None raised any objections to the arrangement.

Howard Weitzman, an attorney for Branca and McClain, said the men would be fairly compensated but likely receive less money than if they received guideline amounts for administering Jackson’s estate, which has an estimated value of more than $500 million.

“They will be fairly compensated,” Weitzman said.

Katherine Jackson’s attorney, Adam Streisand, agreed.

“I think that this is very reasonable,” he said. “There is an incentive for the executors to grow the business and that will, of course, affect their compensation.”

Weitzman noted that Branca represented Michael Jackson throughout his life and that McClain is a childhood friend of the singer.

Beckloff is retaining some oversight over the payments and scheduled a progress report for September. But he expressed faith in Branca’s leadership of the estate. The judge recalled a hearing last year in which Branca testified by phone about his business connections and a deal Jackson merchandise and a memorabilia exhibition.

“I found him extraordinarily impressive,” Beckloff said, noting that’s not a distinction he normally draws about people from a phone conversation.

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AP-WS-02-03-10 1853EST