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As some mourned by flooding the internet with his greatest hits, others wondered about his estate. Prince had no known children, no current spouse, and no living parents. This leaves us all wondering: Who will receive his assets? Did he have proper estate planning in place?
As of yet, no will has surfaced.
His sister,Tyka, recently filed a petition to begin the probate process. For the sake of Prince’s legacy, we can only hope that he did some estate planning, and that he entrusted his wishes with someone who has just not come forward yet.
If Prince did in fact die without either a will or trust, his sister and half-siblings stand to inherit his estate. In Minnesota, when someone dies without proper estate planning, and there is no spouse, children, or parents, then the individual’s siblings, no matter half or full, are entitled to receive the assets in the estate. In Prince’s situation, they will also gain control of the image and likeness rights, brand, and musical creations. This means that his siblings will be able to do what they please with Prince’s music regardless of what he would have wanted.
Should it be decided that his siblings will inherit his estate, the tax implications will also follow. With an estimated $300 million estate and unvalued future revenues, including his vault of unreleased music, they will be looking at estate taxes of 40% and a Minnesota tax rate of 16% which means about half the estate could go to the government.
Having a will and/or trust allows one to express their wishes and ensure those wishes are carried out. In Prince’s case, his charitable efforts and battles to protect his music could terminate if his siblings deem these are no longer important. Without sufficient estate planning in place, everything he stood for and believed in is at risk.
Tomorrow is not promised. It is never too early to start planning. Contrary to what some believe, the size of your estate does not matter. If you have family members and assets that are important to you, you should contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss your wishes for the future.
Contact us with questions or comments.
Russo Law Group, P.C.
100 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 102
Garden City, NY 11530