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Lack of will leaves Prince's $150 million estate in limbo

When someone dies without a will, his or her estate is said to be intestate. That is exactly what has occurred after Prince's sister filed paperwork with the court saying the music legend died without a will to his massive, million dollar estate.

Conservative figures put the value of Prince's estate at between $150 and $300 million dollars. Trusts are usually the estate planning tool used when estates are this large. Because Prince was so careful with his intellectual property -- his music -- it is surprising that he did not have his estate planning completed.

The state of Minnesota will now have jurisdiction over Prince's estate. It will go to probate court and a special administrator will be appointed by the state. The administrator's job is to figure out the value of everything Prince owned and owed. It will be up to the state to determine who will receive the assets. Prince did not have any children, but he does have a sister and five half brothers and sisters.

The most valuable asset of Prince's is the right to his music, personality, image and name. However, there is no statutory right of publicity in Minnesota. This means that it's possible that his right of publicity might not be able to be passed on.

The Internal Revenue Service will likely receive the estate's largest liability. There could be as much as $150 million in estate taxes if the estate is worth $300 million.

Prince was always a very private person; however, it appears that his estate will be dealt with in a lengthy public saga.

You can minimize the impact of your death on your heirs by having your estate planning completed. That means your heirs will be able to deal with other things instead of trying to determine who gets what from your estate. An experienced attorney will help you complete the necessary paperwork that can limit how much of the estate is lost in taxes, too.

Source: Forbes, "Prince Died Without A Will. What Happens Next To His $150 Million-Plus Estate?," Natalie Robehmed, April 27, 2016

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