8 /10 Mounting Bills
After Elvis died on August 16, 1977, Vernon didn’t have much to do apart from occasional public and media appearances, paying tribute to his son. There were no record contracts, film deals, and concerts anymore.
Since RCA bought the rights to Elvis’ recordings before his death, most (if not all) royalties were going to the company instead of his estate.
In 1979, the estate earned around a million dollars in annual income.
Without new albums, it dropped to below $500,000. On the other hand, maintaining Graceland costs about $480,000 a year.
7 /10 Executor Of The Estate
Elvis’s marriage with Priscilla ended in 1973. After his death, Vernon was named executor of the estate, for which he received an annual salary of $72,500. Lisa Marie, his only daughter from his marriage with Priscilla, is the sole heir.
A few months after his son’s death, Vernon’s marriage with Davida (second wife) also ended.
Things didn’t look too good for Vernon with the mounting taxes, Graceland’s expensive maintenance cost, and the bills from the 24-hour security guards to keep Elvis’ gravesite vandals-free.