What Was Lisa Marie Presley's Net Worth? A Confusing Will Led to a Legal Battle

Distractify Staff - Author

Nov. 14 2023, Updated 7:03 p.m. ET

Lisa Marie Presley
Source: Getty Images

Lisa Marie Presley

The Gist:

  • Lisa Marie Presley died in January 2023 and left behind a considerable debt.
  • After her death, Lisa Marie's mother Priscilla and oldest daughter Riley Keough had a legal disagreement over her will.
  • The legal issue was settled in November 2023.
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In January 2023, reports confirmed that Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, passed away after suffering cardiac arrest. She had been found unresponsive in her bedroom by her housekeeper and later taken to the hospital. She was put on life support but was tragically pronounced dead just hours later.

Since her passing, fans have become more curious about Lisa Marie's personal life, including everything from her children to her finances. Sadly ahead of her death, Lisa Marie was struggling with money issues, many of which came to light during her divorce from musician Michael Lockwood. To make matters worse, questions about Lisa Marie's will led to a small legal skirmish between her mother, Priscilla, and oldest daughter, Riley Keough. Here's what we know about Lisa Marie Presley's finances.

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Lisa Marie Presley singing on stage
Source: Getty Images

What was Lisa Marie Presley’s net worth?

Things weren't looking great for Lisa Marie in terms of her financial situation over the years, as at one point she had a reported debt of more than $16 million, per People (though she was $4 million in debt at the time of her death, per TMZ).

But as the only heir to Elvis Presley's estate, how can this be true?

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Lisa Marie was only 9 years old when her father passed away in 1977. At the time of his death, his estate was worth $5 million.

If you think Elvis should have been worth more than that, you'd be right. Over the course of the more than two decades, Elvis worked with a manager named Colonel Tom Parker, who reportedly pocketed around 50 percent of Elvis's earnings. (Most managers typically make between 10 and 20 percent.) While his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, later said that Elvis was happy to pay this amount to Parker, others claimed he was swindled by a con man.

priscilla presley in yellow and black
Source: Getty Images

Priscilla Presley

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In 1979, Priscilla Presley took over as executor of Elvis's estate, which involved keeping up with maintenance and paying taxes on his Graceland mansion — to the tune of around $1 million per year.

However, in 1982, Priscilla turned Graceland into a museum and opened it to the public. The attraction was such a massive hit that she was able to catch up on all owed expenses and debts after just four days of business. At one point, the estate rose to be worth $100 million.

Once Lisa Marie reached the age of 25 in 1993, she inherited the estate. However, keeping up with it proved to be just as tricky as it originally was for her mom.

Per Today, the estate owed $25 million in debts by 2004. The following year, Lisa Marie agreed to sell 85 percent of the business side of the company, while she retained the 15 percent that included Graceland mansion and the possessions within it. The sale absolved her of the debts owed by the estate and paid her $53 million in cash.

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Lisa Marie Presley

Singer and Songwriter

Net worth: -$4 million

Lisa Marie Presley was a singer-songwriter and the only daughter of Elvis Presley.

Birth name: Lisa Marie Presley

Birthdate: Feb. 1, 1968

Birthplace: Memphis, Tenn., U.S.

Father: Elvis Presley

Mother: Priscilla Presley

Children: 4 (Riley Keough, Benjamin Keough, Finley Lockwood, and Harper Lockwood)

Marriages: Danny Keough ​​(m. 1988; div. 1994);​ Michael Jackson​​ (m. 1994; div. 1996);​ Nicolas Cage​​ (m. 2002; div. 2004)​; Michael Lockwood ​​(m. 2006; div. 2021)​

Unfortunately, that cash didn't seem to stick around for long. In 2018, a debt of $16.7 million was revealed during Lisa Marie's divorce battle with Michael Lockwood. According to her then-business manager, who spoke with People, Lisa Marie's previous business manager had majorly mishandled her finances, leading her to have unpaid income taxes, a defaulted mortgage, and massive credit bills.

Lisa Marie "had not been provided with proper accountings or notices or been kept abreast of her finances," he said, adding that by the time she fired her previous business manager, she had less than $20,000 in liquid assets.

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Lisa Marie claimed in court documents that she only received "a monthly salary of $4,361 from her father Elvis Presley's estate, as well as $100,000 in dividends and interest from investments." While an income of around $1.25 million per year may seem like a lot, it clearly wasn't enough to pay off her debts.

Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough were involved in a legal disagreement after Lisa Marie Presley's death.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a little over two weeks after her daughter's death, Priscilla Presley filed a petition with Los Angeles Superior Court challenging her daughter's will. Per the outlet, Priscilla questioned the "'authenticity and validity' of a 2016 amendment that replaced her and former business manager Barry Siegel as co-trustees with Lisa Marie Presley’s daughter Riley Keough and deceased son Benjamin Keough."

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Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough attend The Humane Society of The United States' To The Rescue gala at Paramount Studios on May 07, 2016.
Source: Getty Images

Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough

Priscilla further claimed that an "amendment replacing her as co-trustee of the estate was never delivered to her during her daughter’s lifetime as required by the terms of the trust," per The Hollywood Reporter. She also said her daughter's signature appeared to be different than what Priscilla was used to and the change wasn't witnessed or notarized. Plus, Priscilla's own name was misspelled.

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In November 2023, Rolling Stone reported that "Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough’s settlement of Lisa Marie Presley’s estate now has formal court approval, averting what could have been a multimillion-dollar public legal battle." Riley agreed to allow both Priscilla and her uncle Navarone Garibaldi, Lisa Marie's half-brother, to be buried close to Elvis in the Meditation Garden of Graceland where Riley's brother is also buried.

Priscilla will also receive a $1 million lump sum out of Lisa Marie's $25 million life insurance policy. In addition to this, Priscilla will serve as a "'special advisor' to the Promenade Trust, which holds the family’s shareholder interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.," and will be paid $100,000 per year for 10 years, or until her death.

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