Sib­lings Prince’s heirs

They will still have to wait to in­herit their shares of the es­tate

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/Entertainment -

A judge con­firmed Prince’s six sib­lings to be his right­ful heirs in a rul­ing re­leased Fri­day, bring­ing them a big step closer to col­lect­ing their shares of the mu­sic leg­end’s mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar es­tate.

Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide for­mally de­clared that Prince died with­out a will and that his heirs are his sis­ter, Tyka Nel­son, and five half-sib­lings - Sharon Nel­son, Nor­rine Nel­son, John R. Nel­son, Omarr Baker and Al­fred Jackson.

The sib­lings will still have to wait to in­herit their shares of Prince’s es­tate, which court fil­ings sug­gest has an es­ti­mated value of about $200 mil­lion, though taxes are ex­pected to con­sume about half of that.

More than 45 peo­ple came for­ward in the wake of Prince’s death, claim­ing to be his wife, chil­dren, sib­lings or other rel­a­tives. Some, in­clud­ing a Colorado prison in­mate who said he was Prince’s son, were ruled out through DNA test­ing. Oth­ers, such as a woman and girl who claimed to be Prince’s niece and grand­niece, had their claims re­jected as a mat­ter of law.

Some of those peo­ple filed le­gal ap­peals, and Eide said that if ap­pel­late courts send any of the re­jected claimants back to him, he will con­sider them. And un­til the ap­peals are re­solved, Eide said the sib­lings won’t be able to col­lect any­thing with­out his ap­proval.

Eide pre­vi­ously sig­nalled that the six sib­lings would likely be named Prince’s heirs, but he also had said he wouldn’t make the dec­la­ra­tion un­til ap­peals had been de­cided. Lawyers for the sib­lings didn’t want to wait, though, say­ing fur­ther de­lays would in­crease costs to the es­tate and im­pede its ef­fi­cient ad­min­is­tra­tion. The sib­lings’ at­tor­neys didn’t im­me­di­ately re­ply to phone calls seek­ing com­ment Fri­day.

At­tor­neys for re­jected claimants had urged Eide to wait for ap­peals to be re­solved be­fore nam­ing the heirs. An­drew Stolt­mann, a lawyer for the woman and girl who say they are Prince’s niece and grand-niece, said Fri­day that he hadn’t seen the new rul­ing but would ex­am­ine it and de­ter­mine whether to ap­peal it.

Prince died April 21, 2016, of an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose of fen­tanyl, a syn­thetic opi­oid drug 50 times more pow­er­ful than heroin.

Since his death, Prince’s Pais­ley Park stu­dio com­plex and home has been turned into a mu­seum and con­cert venue. His es­tate has also struck deals to make his al­bums avail­able by stream­ing, and next month plans to re­lease a re­mas­tered “Pur­ple Rain” al­bum as well as two al­bums of un­re­leased mu­sic and two con­cert films. The val­ues of those deals and rev­enue gen­er­ated from Pais­ley Park tours have not been dis­closed.

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