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Heirs of Prince’s Estate Still not Determined

02/07/2017

Heirs of Prince’s Estate Still Not Determined

While there has been some progress with the estate, the judge in charge of Prince’s estate matter recently said that he is not yet ready to name heirs. He did indicate that Prince’s siblings would be among the heirs. Prince, of course, did not Plan to Fail, but he sure Failed to Plan.

A Carver County, Minnesota judge in charge of probating the late rock star Prince’s estate, recently announced that he wasn’t ready to definitively name the heirs to his vast fortune. However, he did say that the late musician’s siblings would be among them.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune article, “Court holds off determining Prince's legal heirs, picks firm to oversee estate,” reported that Minnesota State District Judge Kevin Eide approved the application of Comerica Bank & Trust to replace Bremer Trust as the special administrator. The court also heard testimony on whether to appoint either CNN political commentator and attorney Van Jones or New York entertainment attorney L. Londell McMillan as a type of co-executor of the estate, but no decision was made on that issue.

Prince’s siblings and presumptive heirs are at odds over who should help manage his estate pending distribution to his heirs. Jones and McMillan each testified on why they think their appointment would benefit the estate.

Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, and his half-brother Omarr Baker filed objections to the proposed appointment of McMillan. He’s been acting as a special adviser to Bremer Trust, the former special administrator appointed after Prince’s accidental death from an overdose of painkillers in April 2016. Nelson and Baker allege that McMillan has a conflict of interest because he gets a 10% commission on contracts the estate has signed thus far to market Prince’s music and image.

Because of the fact that Prince left no will, Tyka Nelson and his half-siblings are the likely heirs to his fortune, estimated at $100-$300 million. But estate taxes are expected to claim almost half, and much of the estate’s value remains to be determined. Judge Eide said pending appeals were delaying the final designation of heirs.

In a petition filed in December, Tyka Nelson requested that either Fiduciary Trust Co. International or Comerica be named to oversee the estate. Fiduciary Trust withdrew from consideration, and the presumptive heirs now agree that Comerica should oversee the estate. But all of the siblings, except Tyka Nelson and Baker want McMillan appointed as co-representative.

Tyka Nelson and Baker prefer Jones, who is also Baker’s attorney, to be co-representative. Nelson and Baker content that McMillan bungled a tribute concert, set up an after-party using estate assets without speaking to the heirs and leaked confidential information to Billboard magazine about the sale of Prince’s vault masters, among many other actions showing he is not suitable for the role.

This whole mess could have been avoided with estate planning documents. Everyone has the ability to chose who controls their estate and how their assets are distributed.

Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!

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Reference: Minneapolis Star Tribune (January 13, 2017) “Court holds off determining Prince's legal heirs, picks firm to oversee estate”

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