As the world continues to mourn the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson, it has been revealed that the musical icon allegedly did not have a will, leaving an estimated $250 million fortune up for grabs.
The beloved singer died nearly a week ago at his Paisley Park property, and although an autopsy has been performed, the official cause of death is still unknown.
Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, filed court documents Thursday, requesting his longtime banker Bremer Bank National Association serve as special administrator and manage the musician’s estate. In her petition to the courts, she insisted Prince did not have a will: “I do not know of the existence of a Will and have no reason to believe that the decendent executed testamentary documents in any form.”
Prince’s fortune could potentially be passed around to several parties. Tyka Nelson is his only full-sibling, and the singer also has five living half-siblings. Minnesota law grants the same privilege to half-siblings as full siblings. Also, Prince had no known living children and is survived by two ex-wives, but neither are eligible to receive money from his estate based on Minnesota law.
Unfortunately, the untimely death of “The Purple One” has thrust into question the importance of estate planning and how a lack of conversation around the topic in the Black community is a critical issue that must be addressed.
Attorney Dianne Stewart Hamlin joined guest host Laura Coates on Wednesday’s edition of NewsOne Now to discuss estate planning and why African-Americans must tackle the oftentimes uncomfortable topic.
“We don’t think about estate planning and what it means,” Hamlin said. “It’s the last thing you can do to take care of your family.”
“You put something in place so that everybody knows what is next once you die, and that really takes the burden off of the family,” Hamlin said. She added estate planning “takes the fighting out” of attending to your final affairs, because you have predetermined what should be done with your property, who will become the guardians of your children, who has control over your bank accounts, and what expenses should be paid.
Hamlin said through this process, your family will be protected from “fighting and uncertainty.”
Another important aspect of estate planning revolves around establishing a living will. This document details “what you want to have happen to you in case of a medical situation” or emergency where your family members are unsure of how to proceed. A living will determines what sort of care you should receive in these instances.
With regards to Prince, if a will was not established prior to his demise, Hamlin explained the state will decide who will take care of his assets. She also detailed how a consanguinity chart would be used to delineate “who gets what based on degrees of separation as they’re related to you.”
Watch NewsOne Now guest host Laura Coates and Attorney Dianne Stewart Hamlin discuss estate planning in the video clip above.
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