Prince’s Estate — Lessons We Can Learn

Lessons from Prince EstatePrince Roger Nelson (aka Prince) seemingly died without a will or trust.  The value of his estate is approximately $500 million.  The fate of his estate and the fate of his music royalty rights, including unreleased music, is not clear. His music, money, image, and likeness may be used in any n
umber of ways he may have never wanted.

His sister, Tyka Nelson, has filed a petition with the probate court in Minnesota asserting he died intestate (without a will).  It may be years before his estate is ultimately settled.

Unfortunately there is a laundry list of celebrities who have died without a will.  Abraham Lincoln, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Curt Cobain, Martin Luther King, Howard Hughes, Sonny Bono, James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Pablo Picasso all died without a will.  Studies show more than 1/2 of all US Citizens do not have a will or trust.

Fortunately there are some assets which pass directly to beneficiaries by contract.  Typically life insurance policies, IRA accounts, and 401k accounts will pass to an heir because a beneficiary is named on the paperwork.  Assets like Real Estate, Bank Accounts, Business Contracts, and Personal Belongings need to be named in a Will or Trust.

If you do not have a Trust or a Will do not delay and get one!