Judge orders Jackson estate to pay for singer’s funeral

A private funeral for Michael Jackson, here in 2002, will be held Thursday in Glendale, California, his family says.
A judge Wednesday approved Katherine Jackson’s request that Michael Jackson’s estate get the bill for the cost of this week’s funeral for her son.

More than two months after his death, the pop singer will be interred in a private ceremony Thursday evening at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, the Jackson family said. A short hearing was held Wednesday morning before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to consider Katherine Jackson’s petition. The special administrators of his estate — in control of the purse strings until the will is probated — did not object to the Jackson family’s request. The cost of the burial is a secret — kept under court seal by Beckloff’s order — but it is believed to include paying Glendale police to handle traffic and security around the cemetery. The ceremony, which will be closed to the public and news media, is set for 7 p.m. at the cemetery’s Holly Terrace in the Great Mausoleum, a family spokesman said. On July 7, Jackson’s family and friends gathered at Forest Lawn’s Hollywood Hills cemetery for a short service just before a public tribute to the singer in downtown Los Angeles.

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There has been widespread speculation about the whereabouts of Jackson’s body. It has remained a closely guarded secret. The pop star’s siblings and parents have been divided over where to bury him, several family members have said. Older brother Jermaine Jackson has said he wanted the singer to be buried at his former Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, while others have objected. The burial comes less than a week after the Los Angeles County coroner made public his conclusion that Jackson’s June 25 death was a homicide. The coroner ruled that the anesthetic drug propofol and the sedative lorazepam were the primary drugs responsible for the death. Los Angeles police detectives have not concluded their criminal investigation into the singer’s death. No one has been charged.