It’s been three years since music icon Prince died at his famous Paisley Park mansion, joining the ranks of many celebrities who died without an estate plan.
Prince’s estate, which includes master tapes of his recordings and a 10,000-square-foot Caribbean villa, has been estimated at $200 million. However, what it will be worth after years of battles between heirs, people claiming to be heirs, consultants and a court-appointed administrator, is anyone’s guess.
Page Six reported in its article, “Fight over Prince’s $200M estate could go on for years,” that Prince’s heirs are entrenched in a fight to rein in the estate’s administrator. They’ve spent more than $45 million in administrative expenses, according to a probate-court petition filed by Prince’s designated heirs.
They’ve asked for “a transition plan” for a new administrator, which is scheduled for the end of June, according to court filings.
Prince didn’t have a will and his six heirs—all siblings—had to be selected by a probate judge. That’s because soon after Prince died in April 2016, more than 45 people came forward to claim they were his relatives, in order to get a piece of the purple pie.
Some said they were his wife, brother or sister, according to an Associated Press report. One Colorado inmate claimed to be Prince’s son, but a DNA test proved this not to be true. The list of Prince’s heirs has since been whittled down to his full sister, Tyka Nelson and half siblings Norrine Nelson, Sharon Nelson, John Nelson, Alfred Jackson and Omarr Baker.
These heirs had been in a bitter disagreement. However, they came to an agreement this year in their effort to challenge Comerica, the court-appointed Dallas bank that became the estate’s administrator, after St. Paul, Minn.-based Bremer Trust served temporarily in that capacity for nine months.
In a February petition, the heirs argued that Comerica is $31 million behind on estate taxes that “continue to accumulate interest.”
The heirs wrote that they “do not agree with Comerica’s cashflow projections, accounting or inventory of estate assets.” They also complained that Comerica was unresponsive to their questions.
In court filings, Comerica said that it understood the heir’s frustration but that no other entity could be better suited to administer the estate. It also noted that Comerica is making all necessary tax payments.
This is yet another lesson of the importance of having an estate plan created, regardless of the size of the estate. The time and expenses wasted, could have all been avoided.
Reference: Page Six (April 19, 2019) “Fight over Prince’s $200M estate could go on for years”