As many readers of this blog already now, the world famous rock star, Prince, who made his home in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, recently passed away. Unfortunately, there is also some speculation that, despite being worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Prince did not leave a will.
Prince has no surviving children, and he was not married at the time of his death. The rocker does have one full biological sister and several half-siblings. If no will is discovered, these family members may be eligible to receive inheritances.
In addition to dividing the estate according to Minnesota's laws, a probate court may have to decide who will be in charge of managing Prince's estate. Given the fact that his music has enduring popularity, his already sizeable estate is likely to grow via income from music royalties and, possibly, through other investments.
Nonetheless, particularly since no will has been forthcoming, probate litigation is a distinct possibility. For one, a lot of money is at stake, and this fact alone increases the odds of some sort of contested proceeding. Moreover, without clear direction from a will or trust document, any number of opinions as to what Prince's last wishes were could be equally valid.
While it remains to be seen whether a valid will turns up, as Prince's estate continues to make its way through Minnesota's probate process, the important takeaway from this story is that estates in which there is no will are prone to probate litigation. While a Minnesota resident may have no control over whether his or her loved one makes out a will, he or she can control how he or she responds when faced with a legal conflict over an estate.
Source: People, "Who will get Prince's millions? Cops say they have no record of a will for the late singer," Lindsay Kimble, April 25, 2016.