Ap­peals hold­ing up de­ter­mi­na­tion on Prince es­tate, judge says

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Steve Karnowski

The Min­nesota judge over­see­ing Prince’s es­tate will wait for ap­peals to be ex­hausted be­fore mak­ing a fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion on who will in­herit a for­tune that could be worth around $200 mil­lion, he said at a hear­ing Thurs­day.

But Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide also made it clear the late su­per­star’s six con­firmed sib­lings are the likely heirs. He al­ready has re­jected claims from sev­eral other peo­ple to be Prince’s child, sib­ling or wife, and there are a cou­ple more DNA tests pend­ing, though he ex­pects them to be re­jected.

“The court can­not make a de­ter­mi­na­tion of who the heirs are un­til these ap­peals are ex­hausted,” Eide said. That process typ­i­cally takes sev­eral months or more.

Prince left no known will when he died in April of a painkiller over­dose. Since he wasn’t mar­ried and had no sur­viv­ing chil­dren or par­ents, his sib­lings stand to in­herit equal shares of his es­tate un­der Min­nesota law.

Prince’s sis­ter, Tyka Nel­son, and his five half-sib­lings have asked Eide to de­clare that no will ex­ists and for­mally name them as heirs. They also have asked the judge to hand con­trol over the run­ning of the es­tate from a tem­po­rary spe­cial administrator, Bremer Trust, to Comer­ica Bank and Trust. The judge did not im­me­di­ately rule on that Thurs­day morn­ing.

The court was sched­uled to re­con­vene in the af­ter­noon re­gard­ing whether Eide should ap­point an in­di­vid­ual as a “co-per­sonal rep­re­sen­ta­tive,” or co-ex­ecu­tor, to act in part as a go­b­e­tween Prince’s sib­lings and Comer­ica.

Prince’s four older half­si­b­lings, Sharon, Nor­rine and John Nel­son, and Al­fred Jack­son, want en­ter­tain­ment lawyer L. Lon­dell McMil­lan, who long rep­re­sented the mu­si­cian and is cur­rently over­see­ing Prince’s en­ter­tain­ment as­sets. Tyka Nel­son and his younger half-brother, Omarr Baker, want one of their lawyers, Van Jones.

Not­ing the fric­tions among the sib­lings, Eide said he’ll name a co-per­sonal rep­re­sen­ta­tive only if he thinks that per­son will help them and Comer­ica re­solve the case as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The court is not look­ing for some­one who is go­ing to seek head­lines for them­selves,” he said.

Court fil­ings sug­gest the es­tate is worth around $200 mil­lion, though the value of many as­sets, in­clud­ing Prince’s mu­sic, is still be­ing tal­lied. The es­tate faces a Jan. 21 dead­line for fil­ing its ini­tial re­turn with the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice.

Fed­eral and state es­tate taxes are ex­pected to gob­ble up about half the value, al­though the es­tate can ask to make the pay­ments over time.

CHRIS PIZZELLO — INVSION — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Prince per­forms at the Bill­board Mu­sic Awards at the MGM Grand Gar­den Arena in Las Ve­gas in 2013.

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