LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A judge on Friday ordered a probe into the care of Michael Jackson's three children as the late singer's brother accused executors of dirty tricks in a power struggle over the pop star's multi-million dollar estate.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Mitchell Beckloff appointed a probate investigator to interview Prince Michael, 15, Paris, 14, and Blanket, 10, "on an unannounced basis" and report back to him about the children's welfare which has come under scrutiny in recent days.
Beckloff made the order as a family attorney proposed that the "Thriller" singer's mother Katherine, 82, share guardianship of the children with her nephew Tito Jackson Jr.
Tito, 34, was awarded temporary guardianship on Wednesday after Katherine took a prolonged and rumor-filled absence from the Jackson family's compound outside Los Angeles.
The Jackson matriarch returned home from Arizona on Thursday, after going on national television to deny speculation that she had been kidnapped by some of her adult children.
Katherine Jackson's attorney on Friday said the new arrangement for the care of the children would be formally presented to Beckloff next week.
Although the dispute over guardianship apparently neared a resolution, the dead pop singer's brother Randy continued his attack on the executors of Michael Jackson's lucrative estate.
Randy Jackson, who along with four other siblings last week claimed Jackson's signature on a will benefiting his mother and his children had been forged, accused the Jackson estate of trying to kill Katherine Jackson.