Prince Rogers Nelson, known to his fans as Prince, passed away on April 21, 2016 in Carver County, Minnesota at his estate, Paisley Park.
Largely because the singer died without a will or trust, the legal and financial questions that his death created are almost as unresolved now as they were the day his body was discovered three months ago.
At a recent hearing, Minnesota District Judge Kevin Eide declared that, in addition to deferring questions about whether or not potential heirs should submit to DNA tests to confirm their claims, he would forward some issues to a higher court for a determination, so the process could last many months longer than anyone anticipated. David Crosby, an attorney for the estate administrator, did say that his employer – Bremer Trust – was about to call off the search for a will, after having “looked under every box lid” at four different locations. At this point, there are seven known heirs (a full sister and a half-dozen half-siblings or their descendants) and a growing crowd of persons who claim relationship with the singer.
Over half the estate (57 percent) will go to pay taxes, and the estate cannot earn any money by marketing Prince’s music until the legal issues are fully resolved.
Estate Plan Basics
Although most people do not have a comprehensive estate plan, most people do at least acknowledge the fact that they should have one. Obviously, Prince’s decision not to have a will or trust, probably because he was so young, will cost his family dearly, both financially and emotionally. Having these documents is the first step towards a comprehensive estate plan, but it is only the first step.
In addition to words on paper, testators (people who make wills) need plans of action that breathe life into those words. Inherited real property is a big issue, especially in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and other jurisdictions with rather obscure probate laws. When crafting an estate plan, ask your attorney about local realtors who focus on this area. In this way, your heirs do not have to throw darts at a board to find a realtor who may or may not act according to your wishes. Both testamentary documents and a plan of action are often necessary to preserve your legacy.
Contact us today, so we can be there for your family tomorrow.