"Lisa's intent was very clear," the friend said, adding, "Lisa really didn't feel that Priscilla was doing anything in her best interest."
A bitter legal dispute over Lisa Marie Presley's will surfaced weeks after the singer's passing. Elvis Presley's only child Lisa Marie, who passed away on January 12 at the age of 54, bequeathed her trust to three children, which includes Elvis' Graceland property and 15% ownership of Elvis' estate.
However, lawyers for Lisa Marie's mother Priscilla Presley on Thursday filed a petition in Los Angeles contesting the "authenticity and validity" of Lisa Marie's will, asserting that a 2016 amendment that placed the trust in the care of actress Riley Keough, 33, and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, 14, is invalid. A friend close to the late star, however, shares with PEOPLE that, "Lisa's intent was very clear," adding that the decision was made by Lisa Marie when "Lisa really didn't feel that Priscilla was doing anything in her best interest."
Lisa Marie reportedly drafted a living will in 1993 and updated it in 2010, adding Priscilla, 77, as a co-trustee along with her former business manager Barry Siegel. However, after Lisa Marie passed away, Priscilla learned that a 2016 change had been introduced that had removed Siegel and her as co-trustees and replaced them with Riley, her twin sisters, and her brother Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020.
A petition has been filed by Priscilla contesting that "there are many issues surrounding the authenticity and validity of the purported 2016 amendment," including the fact that it was never given to Priscilla while Lisa Marie was alive "as required by the express terms of the Trust," that Lisa Marie's signature "appears inconsistent with her usual and customary signature," and that there was no witness or notarization, per TODAY.
In a court filing obtained by CNN, attorneys for Priscilla Presley filed a petition disputing a 2016 amendment to her daughter’s will. The petition comes just days after Elvis Presley’s only child was laid to rest at his former residence, Graceland. https://t.co/pdTy2Cvb8q— CNN International (@cnni) January 30, 2023
Priscilla is asking the court to declare the 2016 amendment unlawful on the grounds that the 2010 amendment is still "the authoritative and controlling document." Lisa Marie "did not have a relationship" with her mother by the time she made the 2016 change, the friend tells PEOPLE, and Priscilla's attempts to recover power clearly conflict with her wishes.
"Lisa lived her life authentically… She wouldn't remain quiet when she was being taken advantage of," the friend says. "At the end of the day, these are her wishes, and there's no question as to what her wishes were. No one's going to be able to reinvent the last seven or eight years and say no, no, no."
According to the friend, Lisa Marie "had a major issue" with how her trust was being managed and even filed a lawsuit against Siegel in 2018, per Reuters. Siegel had reduced the $100 million trust that she had inherited following Elvis Presley's death in 1977 to just $14,000 "through his reckless and negligent mismanagement and self-serving ambition."
Siegel, on the other hand, accused Lisa Marie of "squandering" the money through her "excessive spending" tendencies. "There's substantial documentation that basically Lisa was the only trustee," the friend says. "Priscilla did not participate in anything, as [Siegel also] hadn't for years before… At the end of the day, a trustee is supposed to have limited power — they're supposed to not be able to do anything bad or stupid. No one can argue that Riley being the trustee is going to not be to the benefit of the twins."
Lisa Marie Presley’s will had an amendment that would leave Riley Keough much of Elvis estate. But according to nbc:— Lindsay Kusiak (@lindsay_kusiak) January 31, 2023
1.Priscilla was not notified — as required — of the amendment.
2. It is a PDF copy
3. The signature is inconsistent & on a blank page. 🤔 #Elvis (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ytxmmjOPCD
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Christopher Polk