Multitalented entertainer Prince died three years ago of an opioid overdose and he did not leave behind an estate plan or a will. And, there has been little progress as the court had to sort through claims from 45 people who said they were heirs as well as consultants, according to the New York Post in “Fight over Prince’s $200 M estate could go on for years.”
The estate includes a 10,000 square foot Caribbean villa, a mansion in Minneapolis and master tapes of his recordings. The estate has been estimated by some to be worth in the neighborhood of $200 million.
Right now, the heirs are in a court battle with the estate’s administrator, which has already blown through $45 million in administrative expenses. That’s from a probate-court petition filed by Prince’s heirs. They’ve asked the court for a transition plan and a new administrator, which is scheduled for the end of June.
One observer noted that this estate may take decades to resolve, all because there was no will.
A judge had to determine who Prince’s heirs were. More than 45 people stepped up to claim inheritance rights when the Purple One died in 2016. Some said they were wives, others said they were siblings and one said he was the artist’s son. DNA testing debunked that claim.
The list of heirs has been narrowed down to six: his full sister, Tyka Nelson, and half-siblings Norrine Nelson, Sharon Nelson, John Nelson, Alfred Jackson and Omarr Baker.
Until fairly recently, the heirs were divided and quarreling among themselves. For now, they have come together to challenge the court-appointed bank that became the estate’s administrator, Comerica. The estate was being run by Bremer Trust at first, but that was a temporary appointment.
The statement said they don’t agree with Comerica’s cash flow projections, accounting, or inventory of estate assets. They also claim that Comerica is not being responsive to their concerns. What is even worse, they say that Comerica is the reason that the estate is $31 million behind on estate taxes, which are continuing to accumulate interest.
The company stated that it was the best possible administrator of the estate and insisted it is making all tax payments necessary to settle the estate.
Everyone needs to have a will (even with a small estate) so that heirs are not left battling over assets.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: New York Post’s Page Six (April 19, 2019) “Fight over Prince’s $200 M estate could go on for years.”