Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, had a charmed childhood. Subsequent to her father’s death, the estate of Elvis Presley, was discovered to be cash-poor and in debt. Her mother, Priscilla Presley, as one of the executors of Elvis’ estate, assumed primary management of the estate and formed EPE, Elvis Presley Productions which manages Elvis image rights and royalties and turned Graceland into a tourist attraction, all of which generated $100 million by 1993 when Lisa Marie Presley reached the age of majority. Lisa Marie created her own revocable trust and appointed others to act as trustees over her fortune. Currently, Lisa Marie Presley is in litigation with Barry Siegel and Provident Financial Management over management of her trust. This case highlights the need for proper estate planning and taking a role in the management of your funds. For the complete article, follow our link to Forbes.
Lisa Marie Presley & The Rise And Fall Of The Elvis Estate
By Danielle and Andy Mayoras | Forbes
As the daughter to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Lisa Marie Presley enjoyed a charmed childhood. She had ponies, private access to an amusement park for herself and her friends, and legions of household employees to cater to her every whim. In fact, when Elvis found out that Lisa Marie wanted to see snow for the first time, he ordered his private jet to fly her to Idaho to play in the snow for twenty minutes, before flying her home again.
Elvis Presley was always reputed to be a free-spender. Estimates place his lifetime earnings anywhere from $100 million up to one billion dollars. Regardless of where the true figure lies, there is no doubt that Elvis felt free to be as generous as he wanted to his only daughter — and lots of other people too, for that matter. When Elvis’ bank account started to run dry, he could simply go on tour or set up another movie deal and the money faucet would flow.
The Presley financial picture took a big turn for the worse as of that fateful day on August 16, 1977. Elvis left behind a cash-poor estate, with only about $5 million and lots of debt. A few years later, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, the IRS determined the true value of the Elvis Presley Estate was worth more than what the estate’s tax return disclosed and imposed a $10-million estate tax. Of course by then, there were no concerts to book, new music to release, or movies to make.
The estate was in dire financial straights. And it couldn’t even count on royalties from the large majority of Elvis recordings because his infamous manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had previously brokered a deal to sell those to RCA for a paltry $5.4 million – only $1.35 million of which found its way into Elvis’ pocket after Parker’s 50% fee and income taxes. In fact, it took a probate court battle to remove Parker and his 50% fee from future estate dealings.
As the LA Times piece detailed, Priscilla Presley stepped into the picture and assumed primary management of the Elvis Presley Estate, as one of the executors. With the help of financial professionals, Priscilla formed Elvis Presley Enterprises, or EPE, to manage all Elvis image rights and remaining royalties, which primarily included turning Graceland into a tourist attraction. Between Graceland profits, merchandising, image deals, and royalties from songs recorded after the RCA deal, Priscilla and her co-executors of the Elvis Estate helped grow its value to a reported $100 million by 1993. That was the year during which Lisa Marie Presley turned 25 and became eligible to inherit the money directly under Elvis’s Last Will and Testament. Read More