Michael Jackson's family prepare for his burial

Thursday September 3, 2009

The friends and family of Michael Jackson will attend a private sunset funeral service for the late pop star at a cemetery in Los Angeles on Thursday. 

More than two months after his death, the king of pop will be laid to rest at the Grand Mausoleum in Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Soul star Aretha Franklin is expected to sing at the service and it is thought Diana Ross will be among the attendees. 

This week Michael's brother Marlon revealed the star's three children, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, have each written a letter to their father which will lie with him, alongside one of his trademark white sequinned gloves. 

Security at the 45-minute-long service – originally scheduled for August 29, his 51st birthday - will be tight, and police have urged fans not to turn up.

The funeral costs will be covered by Michael's late estate after lawyers acting for his mother Katherine requested that a judge sign them off. 

"The expenses are extraordinary. However Michael Jackson was extraordinary," said attorney Jeryll Cohen. 

He added one of the reasons costs were so high was because 12 burial plots have been bought, although the reason for this is unknown.

Last week, the Thriller star's death was ruled a homicide by the LA coroner. No one has been named a suspect.

Photo: © Getty Images

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