The unexpected passing of legendary music icon Prince Rogers Nelson has the fate of his vast estate tied up in litigation. In court, Prince’s sister stated that she is unaware of any will or estate plan left by her brother. Estate planning allows people to control their property while they are alive, care for their loved ones and give what they want to who they want. If you don’t have an estate plan, state law will control administering the estate and distributing assets to your heirs. The court in this case has determined that all possible heirs have been reached and provided the opportunity to be included in the proceedings. Under Minnesota law, with no spouse or children, Prince’s estate will likely be divided among his sister and his five half-siblings.

Dividing up all of Prince’s assets could get real messy. Dividing dollars among six people is one thing, but dividing guitar collections, unreleased songs or an unfinished piece of music could be most difficult. Additionally, certain assets will have to be sold in order to pay taxes. Without an estate plan, more than half of Prince’s estate will go to state and federal taxes. Minnesota requires residents to pay a 16 percent estate tax on top of the 40 percent federal tax. Current estimates value Prince’s estate at nearly $300 million.

Lawyers at Beasley Allen are currently involved in litigating probate disputes in several states involving wills, trusts, and estates. This litigation covers a multitude of situations like the one described above, cases involving undue influence and lack of capacity, as well as cases involving financial elder abuse. If you have a possible probate litigation issue, and need any type advice or counsel, contact Lance Gould or Leslie Pescia, lawyers in our firm’s Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Lance.Gould@beasleyallen.com or Leslie.Pescia@beasleyallen.com.

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