Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
October 3, 2019
Prince Estate Remains in Limbo 3 Years Later
Three years have passed since we bid farewell to pop icon Prince, and as we predicted then, his choice to forego planning has left his estate in limbo and its value dwindling.
It was a known fact that Prince looked at most of the businessmen around him – managers, attorneys, and so on – as “necessary evils.” Some say he didn’t trust attorneys at all, and his wariness has left his legacy up to the courts.
We’ve shared our opinions on the dangers of probate – the legal battles that often ensue, the fees associated with them, and the sheer amount of time it takes to wade through the court proceedings required to close out someone’s estate this way.
Prince’s probate case is proving no different.
Prince’s Estate Reduced by an Estimated $76 Million… So Far
USA Today reported recently that the estate (originally estimated to be worth between $200 and $300 million) remains “unsettled,” With no official value determined, everyone involved seems to be reaching their respective boiling points.
Although dozens of claimants have come forward since his death, the probate court has recognized only six as Prince’s official heirs. Minnesota law says no will, no spouse, and no children means that his entire estate, or what’s left of it when the dust settles, will be split equally among his siblings.
Three years of court battles, including legal and administration fees, have already cost a reported $45 million. Add that to the $31 million in unpaid taxes continuing to accrue interest and the very little headway made in actually closing the estate and who knows what will be left when business is ultimately sorted and assets finally disbursed.
Don’t Make the Same Estate Planning Mistakes as Prince
Had Prince taken even the most basic steps in estate planning, many of the issues his estate’s administrators face could have been resolved, if not altogether eliminated.
An experienced team of estate planning attorneys and financial advisors (preferably under the same roof) would have likely yielded at the very least an estate plan consisting of the following elements:
- Last Will and Testament
- Revocable Trust
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Surrogate
- Living Will
These would be a part of any basic planning of an estate. For his specific assets, we imagine there would also have been documents governing how each of Prince’s business entities would be operated. Most individuals with assets similar to these establish various trusts for them.
Each estate has its unique assets and circumstances and poses distinct challenges. That said, having even the basic elements in place can create clear directives about your wishes after you’re gone, saving your heirs both time and heartache.
Reach Out to Haimo Law with Your Estate Planning Questions
Finding the right partnership in planning your estate can certainly feel daunting. It took you a lifetime to build your legacy. Deciding whose advice to trust in managing it is no easy task. We can understand the hesitation. Inaction, however, can be just as harmful (if not more).
There is research you can do, though, and key questions to ask. And there are estate planning professionals like us, who value your wishes and have made a mission of informing and advising clients through every step and decision in planning their estates.
Reach out for an initial consultation, and when you’ve found a firm that provides the answers you’re looking for, there’s no reason to leave your legacy in limbo. Begin developing what will arguably be the most important partnership of your life.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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