What Will Happen to Prince’s Estate?

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Even in death, details into Prince’s larger-than-life persona have been shrouded in mystery.

Prince, 57, was pronounced dead on April 21 after being found unresponsive at his Minneapolis home. An autopsy was conducted, but the coroner has withheld the results for weeks, allowing speculations to flourish. Information from anonymous sources and rumors have pointed to the flu, painkillers, and even AIDS as all being possible causes for the singer’s death.

But while we continue to wonder what caused the notoriously soft-spoken and private artist to die so suddenly, we can turn our attention to the chaos surrounding his multi-million dollar estate.

On Monday, Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sole full sister, and his half siblings headed to court for a probate hearing to begin the long and inevitably messy process of determining how to divide up his assets.

With no living parents, wife, children, or found will, Prince’s estate is up for grabs. Conflicting media reports have estimated it to be worth anywhere between $100-$500 million, and to include thousands of unreleased songs that are almost impossible to put a price tag on.

Monday’s hearing concluded with Bremer Trust, National Association being appointed the temporary special administrator of the estate. As an administrator, the bank will be tasked with valuing Prince’s image, and his monetary assets (including real estate, bank accounts, music royalties, etc.) It will also handle paying off his remaining debts, and hunting for a possible will, if there is one, as well as any unknown potential heirs.

Sadly, the biggest inheritor of the estate could end up being the government.

According to CNBC, “his estate will owe taxes on whatever the IRS and the administrators agree on as its value, and with a federal estate tax rate of 40 percent and a Minnesota tax rate of 16 percent, roughly half the estate could go to the government.” Unfortunately, with proper financial planning, Prince could have significantly reduced this tax bill.

While no one knows exactly what the outcome will end up being, this is a tragically ironic fate for the artist who was notoriously protective over his intellectual property rights and personal life.

Alexis Evans
Alexis Evans is an Assistant Editor at Law Street and a Buckeye State native. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a minor in Business from Ohio University. Contact Alexis at aevans@LawStreetMedia.com.



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