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Judge: Jackson children ‘doing wonderfully’

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff says he received a report and is “very pleased” with its contents. “It looks like the children are really doing wonderfully with their grandmother guardian.”
/ Source: The Associated Press

Michael Jackson’s three children seem to be adjusting well to being raised by their grandmother, a judge said Friday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said he was “very pleased” with the contents of a probate investigator’s report detailing how the children are adjusting roughly three months after their father’s death.

“It looks like the children are really doing wonderfully with their grandmother guardian,” Beckloff said in brief comments on the report during a hearing Friday.

Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and Prince II, 7, have been in Katherine Jackson’s care since their father died in late June. Beckloff appointed Katherine Jackson as the children’s permanent guardian in August and asked for an update on their conditions.

In his 2002 will, Michael Jackson designated his mother as his choice to care for his children if he died.

Beckloff sealed the report on the children and said he sees no need to get future updates.

Jackson’s estate is paying a $60,000 per month stipend to care for and protect the youngsters.

Beckloff also increased the powers of two men currently administering Michael Jackson’s estate, a move made in part because of the singer’s substantial debts.

Beckloff gave attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain general powers over Jackson’s estate, which allow them to consider creditors’ claims. They can also enter into business deals that aren’t opposed by Katherine Jackson without Beckloff’s approval, and they can begin to represent the estate in several court cases pending against the singer when he died.

The judge made the ruling over the objections of Katherine Jackson’s attorney.

Numerous people have already filed claims against the pop singer’s estate for unpaid bills. They include a stylist, security providers and Jackson’s criminal defense attorneys who won his acquittal against child molestation charges.

Until Friday, no one could accept or reject creditor’s claims against Jackson, who died with an estimated $400 million in debt.

Paul Gordon Hoffman, an attorney for Branca and McClain, said there are several people who haven’t filed claims against the estate because there was technically no one to accept them.

Burt Levitch, an attorney for Katherine Jackson, declined to comment on the ruling. Levitch said Jackson’s mother is still hoping that a settlement will add a Jackson family member to the team administering the singer’s estate, which is expected to be worth more than $500 million.

Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson attended Friday’s hearing but did not speak during or after the proceedings.