Friend Says Lisa Marie Presley Wanted Trust to Go to Kids as Mom Priscilla Presley Contests Will
Weeks after the death of Lisa Marie Presley, a contentious battle over the star's will has emerged.
When Lisa Marie, the only child of rock legend Elvis Presley, died on Jan. 12 at age 54, she left her trust — which includes Elvis' Graceland property and 15 percent ownership of Elvis' estate— to her three daughters.
But on Thursday, attorneys for Lisa Marie's mother Priscilla Presley filed a petition in Los Angeles questioning the "authenticity and validity" of Lisa Marie's will, claiming that a 2016 amendment that put the trust in the hands of actress Riley Keough, 33, and twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, 14, is invalid.
"Lisa's intent was very clear," a friend close to the late star tells PEOPLE of her desire for her children to inherit her trust. "Lisa really didn't feel that Priscilla was doing anything in her best interest."
According to the petition, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Lisa Marie wrote a living will in 1993 and amended it in 2010, making Priscilla, 77, a co-trustee alongside her former business manager Barry Siegel.
For more on this story, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.
But after Lisa Marie's death, Priscilla discovered an amendment that had been added in 2016, and which booted both her and Siegel as co-trustees and replaced them with Riley, her brother, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020, and her twin sisters. A rep for Riley could not by reached by PEOPLE.
RELATED: Elvis Presley's Graceland Will Go to Lisa Marie Presley's Daughters
Joe Scarnici/Getty Lisa Marie Presley
The petition alleges "many issues surrounding the authenticity and validity" of the 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 was "inconsistent" with her usual signature, and that there was no witness or notarization.
Priscilla is claiming that the 2010 amendment is still "the authoritative and controlling document," and is requesting the court order the 2016 amendment invalid. A rep for Priscilla had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.
The friend tells PEOPLE that Priscilla's attempts to regain control directly contradict Lisa Marie's wishes — and notes that by the time Lisa Marie made the 2016 amendment, she "did not have a relationship" with her mother.
Among the points of contention between the mother-daughter pair was the fact that Priscilla and Michael Lockwood — who share the same publicist — continued to have a relationship even after he and Lisa Marie divorced in 2016.
Though Lockwood was not invited to Lisa Marie's funeral, he attended with Priscilla's help, according to the pal.
"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."
Bryan Steffy/WireImage Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie "had a major issue" with the ways in which her trust was being handled, according to the friend, and even sued Siegel in 2018, claiming he spent a decade whittling down the $100 million trust she'd inherited after Elvis' death in 1977 to just $14,000 "through his reckless and negligent mismanagement and self-serving ambition." Siegel, meanwhile, accused Lisa Marie of "squandering" the fortune with her "excessive spending" habits.
"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 became a joint heir to Elvis' estate alongside grandfather Vernon Presley and great-grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley following his death in 1977. Upon their deaths in 1979 and 1980, respectively, she became the sole heir and also inherited Graceland.
The star was honored at Graceland on Jan. 22 with a memorial that featured remarks from Priscilla, Riley (as read by her husband) and more, plus performances from Axl Rose, Alanis Morissette and Billy Corgan.