Cona Elder Law


The King’s Daughter’s Codicil

We often hear stories of celebrities with millions of dollars passing away without a Will, like Michael Jackson, Pablo Picasso, Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Aaron Carter, to name a few. Elder law and estate planning attorneys shake their heads and wonder how this could possibly happen and the devastation this may wreak on the surviving family members and intended heirs.

On January 12, 2023, Lisa Maria Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, suddenly passed away. Lisa Marie did, in fact, engage in estate planning; she reportedly created a Will and a Trust. She also made an amendment to her Will, which is what we call a Codicil in New York.

Why is the Codicil being challenged?

Unfortunately, this amendment/Codicil is being challenged by Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley. The grounds for the challenge include:

  1. That the amendment was not witnessed;
  2. The amendment was not notarized;
  3. Priscilla’s name was misspelled in the document;
  4. Priscilla did not receive a copy of the amendment as was required in this case; and
  5. There is a question as to the authenticity of Lisa Marie’s signature.

The case will now wend its way through the court, consuming significant time, money and emotional angst.

What to Consider When Preparing a Will or Codicil

Clients come to our firm and ask us to prepare Codicils to their Wills quite often. “I just want to change my Executors” or “I just want to add my other son to receive one-half of the house,” they may say. We don’t allow it. We insist that the client sign a new Will, crossing all “t’s”, dotting all “i’s” and following all proper legal procedures and requirements. Our job is to provide best-in-class services, giving you peace of mind. We don’t take shortcuts, and neither should have Lisa Marie.

About the Author Cona Elder Law

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