Posted on 28.4.16 by Tasoula Addison
It’s been widely reported this week that the late music maestro Prince passed away without having made a Will. His estate and personal fortune is said to be around $300 million (over £200 million), with this figure set to rise thanks to an enormous amount of posthumous sales. Since his death a week ago today, he has already sold over 2.3 million songs and 580,000 albums!
With such a massive estate to distribute and no guidelines from Prince on how exactly he wants it to be shared and to who, there are a whole host of issues. One potentially large problem is that it leaves the estate wide open to dispute from the relatives and dependents left behind.
Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, filed probate documents this week with the Carver County District Court in Minnesota and has asked that a special administrator is appointed to distribute the estate. As Prince had no spouse (he was married and divorced twice), had no children or surviving parents, it’s believed that, within the probate documents, Tyka Nelson has asked that the estate is shared between her and Prince’s five half-siblings.
Why didn’t Prince make a Will?
At 57 years old, Prince wasn’t exactly elderly. Maybe he believed that he was too young to die? Too young to make a Will? Perhaps he was too young to die but we see time and time again that you are never too young to make a Will! With Prince being so specific in regards to his image, name and recording rights, why wouldn’t he want to be in control of the assets he was worked so hard to accumulate?
As he died intestate, he has lost control of the ability to have his last wishes played out, for tax planning and for arranging his finances efficiently. He also left behind a huge and complex estate to be administered.
For his remaining family, the news of Prince passing away would have been a shock and extremely distressing. I’m afraid this is only going to be exacerbated now without a valid Will to administer his estate by. As time goes on, family members are likely to get impatient with the process and this situation is a hotbed for disputes to arise. The Minnesota Attorney, Stephen Hopkins, has predicted that the administration over Prince’s assets will be a long, drawn out case that could last years.
In the last few weeks we have had to deal with two estates where an individual died unexpectedly without having made a Will. It shows that you really don’t know what the future holds, but you can plan ahead to make things so much easier. Making a Will is essential for everyone; whether you have just had a child, bought a house, got divorced, have a business or invested in stocks and shares – there really is no set age.
It’s possible that Prince put off making a Will for the same reasons you are; don’t make the same mistake in waiting until it’s too late! There shouldn’t be a fear in making a Will because you don’t want to think about the negative scenario of not being here. In fact the opposite is true as you are doing something positive for your loved ones.
To speak about planning for your future, act today and call us on 0343 507 5151 or email our expert Wills, Trusts and Probate team on firstname.lastname@example.org.