UPDATE: THE ESTATE OF PRINCE, TWO YEARS LATER
The world mourned the death of Prince on April 21, 2016. After the initial shock of his death, apparently from a drug overdose, passed, his estate became a central issue with his surviving relatives.
Right after his death, I wrote that his probate estate would be a mess:
Unfortunately, I was right.
First, none of his heirs have received a dime from the probate estate. That’s in part because Prince had not even created a will, which complicated things initially because hundreds of people came out of the woodwork claiming to be related to the singer.
Since then, it has been determined that his six surviving siblings will share equally in his estate. However, there’s an ongoing issue: The executor of his estate and the IRS cannot agree on what the estate is worth. Until they do, nothing can be distributed to the siblings.
So who is getting paid from the estate? The executor and their lawyers have collected $5.9 million in fees and expenses. They’ve requested additional fees already and more are obviously expected after that.
A rich celebrity like Prince should have had a will at the very least. That was either a failure of him to follow advice from what you can only imagine was a team of managers, lawyers and accountants or, less likely, the advice was never given to him by his team which would be incredible incompetence.
Had Prince created a will, the beneficiaries of that will would have been determined right away. The process would definitely be further along and likely the will would have contained terms regarding the assets of his estate and directions to the executor.
Had Prince created a properly funded living trust St. Peters (or series of trusts more likely) he could have avoided probate all together and his estate would be resolved in private. It would be a quicker process and a much cheaper one.
And likely his heirs would already be spending their inheritance.