More than 12 months after the death of the iconic musician Prince, his sister and five half-siblings have been declared his legal heirs by a District Judge in Minnesota.
Prince died at his home in April 2016, but he had not made a Will before his death. The singer was twice divorced and had no children or surviving parents.
His assets included properties and the rights to his music. Court filings estimate the estate to be worth approximately $200m (£153m), although half of that value is expected to be absorbed by taxes.
Following his death, more than 45 people filed claims to estate. Last July, a judge rejected claims by 29 people who argued that they were related to the musician and ordered genetic tests to be carried out on others. Similar tests had already been carried out to rule out the claim of a man in jail in Colorado who said he was Prince’s son.
Instead he ruled that Prince’s siblings will inherit his estate. However the judge also stated that those people denied the status of heirs must have time to appeal against the ruling. As a result, Prince’s sister and five half-siblings must wait another year to get their share of the millions.
While the value of most estates will not reach into the hundreds of millions, it is important that people understand the benefits of planning ahead, regardless of age or health. It is hugely important to think about how you want your estate to be distributed should the worse happen as it could be the difference between it being shared amongst your loved ones in line with your wishes, or a potentially divisive and ugly family argument.
Mark Williams, of Worcestershire based Amba Legal Services, commented; “We always recommend that the public seek professional advice when it comes to writing their Will. A staggering 61% of the UK population still do not have a Will in place and, as we’ve seen in the high profile case of Prince, an intestate estate can lead to legal disputes and delays in distribution to the rightful beneficiaries.”
Amba Legal Services can help answer any questions you may have to ensure that your estate is managed in a way that causes as little distress to your family as possible. Contact us on 01299 251442 for an informal discussion to find out more.