Rock legend Prince, who died April 21 last year, was loved worldwide for his brilliant and passionate music. But as news emerges about the estate he left behind, family members must wish he had been as brilliant and passionate about his finances.
Lacking a will or any coherent statement by Prince about his wishes for his estate the courts in his home state of Minnesota have had to guess at his intentions. The current list of heirs numbers six, including sister Tyka Nelson and five half brothers and sisters.
At stake is the disposition of assets pegged at about $300 million. Because Prince never wrote down what his intentions were for his estate, family members and other claimants will spent many millions on their own lawyers to obtain what they perceive as their fair share.
Few of us are rock gods, but we all feel the natural temptation to put off thinking about our worldly goods and our personal demise. Here is what is at stake when we fail to do this:
- You lose the prerogative of deciding how your assets will be divided.
- Your loved ones must sort through your intentions, costing them money and often leading to rancor and litigation.
- Without an estate plan or a will, your estate will be at the mercy of the IRS. Federal and state estate taxes are expected to gobble up about half the value of prince's estate.
- The state essentially writes your will for you, using a standard method of dividing assets that may go completely against your intentions. A probate judge shouldn't be the person who decides who gets your favorite books or jewelry.
For Prince, it's too late to put affairs in coherent order. This is one advantage you have over this great artist. To go forward with a will and powers of attorney and advance directive instructions, contact a lawyer at The Hughes Law Firm, LLP.