Probate & Trust Litigation

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The Issue of Unknown Heirs – He Never Meant to Cause You Any Pain, But Failing to Leave a Will Did Just That

Ricardo, DianeIt has been a year since Prince, the artist formerly known as Prince, died in his Minnesota compound.

Despite his reported business acumen and reputation as a “control freak,” he left no will to govern the disposition of his estate (valued in excess of $200 million).  This means the Court will have to decide who are his heirs, and distribute the estate according to Minnesota’s laws of intestate succession.

Prince left behind a sister and five half-siblings who each stand to receive an equal share of his estate.  Given his notoriety (and the size of his estate), more than 45 people filed claims asserting a right to inherit a piece of the pie – as wife, child, sibling, or other relative.

Claimants have alleged everything from ownership to songs and albums to parentage of children born from secret love affairs.  Appeals over the denial of these claims are still pending.  The estate reportedly includes everything from entertainment assets, such as rights to hit songs and albums, previously unreleased music and concert footage, to over 7,000 custom outfits, jewelry, real estate, and gold bars.

There will be no laughing in the purple rain until the Court sorts out who stands to inherit from this massive estate, and what exactly they will take.