Prince’s Estate Has No Will; What Are The Consequences?

Published: Tuesday, 03 May 2016

According to USA Today, “The legal machinery assigned to figure out what to do about the late Prince's estate started up Wednesday: A judge assigned a special administrator to the case and set a first probate hearing date for next week.” Due to Prince’s lack of estate planning his family is left with a long legal battle to gain control over his estate. In all likelihood more than half of his assets will go to federal and state governments, legal and executor fees, probate and other “administrative” costs. 

Prince was also very protective over the rights to use his likeness and music. Now, with no Will or Estate Plan, whomever the court gives control will get to determine how his likeness and music are used throughout the years to come.  During his lifetime, Prince should have drafted an estate plan to protect his image, music and assets. 

Most people do estate planning because they want to control who will receive their assets after they die, and they want this to happen with the least amount of delay, legal fees and taxes. Had Prince done any sort of estate planning, then some of these issues would have been taken care of. As it stands, his ultimate beneficiaries will have to wait many years before they receive anything and their shares in the estate will be greatly diminished by attorneys, courts fees, and most importantly estate taxes which come into play after an estate with a net value of 5.43 million dollars. 

Estate plans are not only for individuals with Prince’s net worth but they are also for the average American. These are people who want their wishes carried out after their deaths need to plan while they are alive. They will protect future beneficiaries from legal wrangling and the need to hire attorneys to divide up the assets.