Popstar Prince ends his ‘purple rain’ with no Will
27 April 2016 by Andrea Godfrey
Popstar Prince may have died without a Will – who will inherit his fortune?
Reports are appearing that the famous popstar and songwriter Prince has died without leaving a will. The Purple Rain icon died last week at his Paisley Park studios in Minnesota at the age of 57. Prince’s real name is Prince Rogers Nelson and his estimated estate is worth $150 million (£103,500 000)
Prince has one sister of the full blood (Tyka Nelson) and they shared six half-siblings. Prince’s dad had 3 daughters and 2 sons however 2 of these children pre-deceased Prince. After his father’s divorce from his mum she went on and had 2 sons. Prince was divorced twice but sadly his only son died a week after he was born.
The law in Minnesota holds that a person’s closest living relatives will equally share in the estate in the event a person dies without a valid will which would mean his 6 siblings.
His sister Tyke has filed papers at Court for an administrator to be appointed claiming that she does not know of a Will in existence. She has stated her application is an emergency as someone needs to be appointed in an official capacity as someone needs to manage his business interests.
So the initial position in respect of Prince’s estate is that his 6 siblings and potentially any children of the 2 deceased siblings will share equally in his estate. Some people assumed that his sister of the full blood would be the only beneficiary but under the law of Minnesota his half siblings and full siblings are treated exactly the same and they all share equally. This differs to the position in England and Wales. Here the legal position is that if a person dies without a Will and without a spouse/civil partner or children, then the parents of the deceased are first in line (both Prince’s parents are deceased) followed by brother and sisters of the full blood only – so half brothers and sisters would not be entitled to a share as they are in Prince’s case.
Other famous celebrities who have died without a Will include English born Amy Winehouse – both her parents were alive at the date of her death so they inherited her estate. Jill Dando died leaving her father, brother and her fiancé. As she did not have a Will her estate went to her father.
It is also important to update your Will. The late Heath Ledger did not update his Will after his daughter was born. He had left all his money to his parents and sisters.
Not having a Will can result in your estate passing in accordance with intestacy laws which may not actually be what you would have wanted. To be sure that this does not happen, contact one of our Private Client team for friendly and helpful advice.