- Lynn K. Girvin, Esq.
Prince: No Will Now What
Prince’s death last week stands to make millionaires out of his six surviving siblings. That is, once the dust has settled. As of this date no Will has been found and it seems unlikely that one was ever prepared. So the heirs are gearing up for the grueling task of dealing with a lengthy probate making distribution of assets a years-long ordeal.
Who Will Inherit
According to Minnesota law, your spouse inherits everything. If you have no spouse then your children inherit everything and if you have no children then your parents inherit everything. Prince was not married, had no surviving children, and his parents predeceased him so his siblings will get everything. Many details are yet to be revealed about his family and their relationships but based on information provided by the media thus far, it seems that Prince was closest with his full sister, Tyka, and was friendly but had minimal contact with at least one of his half-siblings.
What is to Come
The first step for the court appointed administrator will be to identify and gain control over Prince's assets which includes contacting anyone with whom Prince may have been conducting business. It has been reported that Prince’s net worth was around $300 million at the time of his death but if Michael Jackson’s estate is any indicator, that value with increase enormously (CNN has reported that Prince's album sales have increased by 16,000% since his death). Dividing money is one thing but the battle over Prince’s possessions hasn’t even begun. How do you decide who gets his unfinished and unrecorded music or prized guitar collection.
Leave a Lasting, Positive Legacy
Providing for family and friends in your estate plan is one way to show you how much you valued them during life. No one can now know what Prince was thinking or to whom he would have left the bulk of his estate but it seems doubtful that he would have wanted his closest relative to inherit the same as those comparatively unknown to him.
Prince’s estate will be tied up in probate court for probably several years while the probate court and various attorneys work out the particulars of who gets what. An avoidable consequence to not having his estate in order.
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