Michael Jackson to Pay for His Own Funeral

Michael Jackson to Pay for His Own Funeral
Forest Lawn
Axelle Woussen/Bauer-Griffin

09/02/2009 02:05PM

While the city of Los Angeles covered many of the costs of Michael Jackson's lavish memorial, the bill for his private funeral Thursday night may end up being footed by his estate.

"The expenses will be extraordinary, but Michael Jackson was extraordinary," Jeryll Cohen, an attorney for the singer's estate, said Wednesday at a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, had asked that the estate pay for the funeral. A judge authorized the request, but left it up to the estate administrators to carry out the request.

Jackson, who died June 25 at age 50, will finally be laid to rest during a private sunset service for family and friends at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Jackson's father Joseph tells PEOPLE the family has to both mourn their loss while cope with the ongoing criminal investigation targeting several pharmacies and doctors, including a physician who gave Jackson a powerful anesthetic the night before his death.

"This is my son," Joseph says. "I love him and this has been the most difficult time for me and my family. We will not stop until we get justice for Michael."

The Grand Mausoleum

The King of Pop will be interred in Forest Lawn's Grand Mausoleum – a building patterned on 13th Century Italian architecture, with the walls and floors of each crypt constructed of reinforced concrete.

Inside the church-like halls of the Mausoleum is a full-size marble replica of Michelangelo's "The Pieta," as well as a giant rendition in stained glass of Leonardo de Vinci's "The Last Supper." Jackson's celebrity neighbors will include Clark Gable, Carol Lombard, Jean Harlow and comedian Red Skelton. The building is closed to the general public.

Security will be tight, with streets surrounding Forest Lawn closed to the public 24 hours before the service. The FAA has restricted airspace over the cemetery.

Jackson's brother Marlon reveals Michael's three children have each written letters to their father that will lie with him alongside one of his signature white gloves. The notes by Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7, read: "Daddy, we love you, we miss you,"

In addition, Marlon tells the UK publication The Mirror, Michael will be given a special wig of long black locks to wear in his gold coffin and a makeup artist has been hired to render his features lifelike again.

Soul diva Aretha Franklin is set to sing at the service and Jackson friend and mentor Diana Ross is expected to attend. Neither attended Michael's memorial at the Staples Center.

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