Elvis’ Estate Finds Itself in a “Heartbreak Hotel”

Even the estate of “The King” may not be immune from fraud. The historic Graceland estate, home to the legacy of Elvis Presley, is at the center of a heated legal battle in Tennessee. Elvis’ granddaughter, the current administrator of his estate, recently filed a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure sale of the iconic property, alleging that the deed of trust purportedly securing a lien against the property is forged.

According to the legal complaint, the lender allegedly presented documents suggesting that Lisa Marie Presley, acting as a representative of the Elvis estate, borrowed $3.8 million, using Graceland as collateral back in 2018. Lisa Marie Presley oversaw the Elvis estate at that time, but she has subsequently passed away. Without her personal knowledge, authentication of the document becomes more difficult. The Elvis estate asserts that these documents are fake, and that the lender is a fabricated entity created to defraud the Presley heirs and any potential purchasers of Graceland.

Last month, a Tennessee judge halted the foreclosure sale of Graceland after the Elvis estate claimed that the purported lender forged several loan and estate documents. The Elvis estate contends that the lender entity does not exist, and that the documentation is fraudulent. The judge issued the order to halt the foreclosure sale after reviewing a declaration from the purported notary on the deed of trust, wherein the notary indicated that she had not notarized the signature of Lisa Marie Presley.

That notarization was a critical piece of evidence analyzed by the judge. Two major issues cast doubt on this notarization. First, the certificate language suggests the possibility of remote online notarization, which was not authorized in Florida until 2020, making it unlikely the documents were notarized legally in 2018. Second, the notary provided an affidavit stating she never met or notarized any document for Lisa Marie Presley. The Elvis estate’s legal team further argued that the deed of trust was never recorded, undermining the legitimacy of the transaction.

Though the foreclosure has been halted, the case is not over, and the court will have to decide if fraud actually occurred in this case. For the rest of us commoners, this is another example of the importance of managing and monitoring your title. Unfortunately, title fraud does occur and for those who get scammed, they or their heirs will have to fight for their legal rights.