Working things out. Lisa Marie Presley’s death has caused both emotional and legal turmoil for her famous family.
Elvis Presley’s only daughter died at the age of 54 on January 12, 2023, after suffering cardiac arrest. Though her eldest daughter, actress Riley Keough, took ownership of her estate upon her death, Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, contested her daughter’s will a few days after her passing.
According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly in January 2023 the Dallas alum claimed that a 2016 amendment made to the will — which removed her and Lisa Marie’s former business manager Barry Siegel as co-trustees and replaced them with Keough and her late brother, Benjamin Keough — was invalid. The Naked Gun star claimed that her daughter’s signature appeared to be forged and that the amendment was not witnessed or notarized. The documents also state that Priscilla should have been notified of the change, but never was.
Keough has been the sole trustee of her late mother’s estate since her brother Benjamin died by suicide in July 2020 at the age of 27. (Lisa Marie shared her two eldest kids with ex-husband Danny Keough. She was also mother to twin daughters Harper and Finley, whom she shared with ex-husband Michael Lockwood.)
In March 2023, a source exclusively told Us that the Daisy Jones & The Six star had often acted as a mediator between Lisa Marie and Priscilla. “Riley knew there was contention with her mom and grandmother and has always tried to be a bridge between them,” the insider shared at the time. “She’s still doing this even after her mother’s death, but still honoring her mother’s wishes.”
Despite the drama, honoring both Lisa Marie and Elvis’ legacies is of the utmost importance to Priscilla. “I loved Elvis very much as he loved me. Lisa is a result of our love,” the Elvis and Me author — who was married to the King of Rock and Roll from 1967 to 1973 — said in a statement to E! News on February 3, 2023. “For anyone to think anything differently would be a travesty of the family legacy and would be disrespectful of what Elvis left behind in his life.”
Priscilla broke the news of her daughter’s death in early 2023. At the “Storm & Grace” singer’s memorial service later that month, Priscilla tearfully read the eulogy that Lisa Marie’s youngest daughters, Harper and Finley, wrote in honor of their mother.
“I have no idea how to put my mother into words, truth is there are too many. Lisa Marie Presley was an icon, a role model, a superhero to many people all over the world, but Mama was my icon, my role model, my superhero in much more ways than one,” Priscilla read during the ceremony. “Even now, I can’t get across everything there is to be understood or known about her but as she always said, ‘I’ll do my best.’”
Riley’s husband Ben Smith-Petersen also read a letter on his wife’s behalf at the service, which took place at the family’s Graceland estate. “A letter to my Mama,” the stuntman read. “Thank you for being my mother in this life. I am eternally grateful to have spent 33 years with you. I’m certain I chose the best mother for me in this world and I knew that as far back as I can remember you.”
Following the memorial service, Priscilla thanked fans for their support via Twitter. “Thank you all for your condolences, you have touched me with your words,” she wrote in January 2023. “It has been a very difficult time but just knowing your love is out there makes a difference.”
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Scroll below for a breakdown of the drama surrounding Lisa Marie’s will.