The Minnesota judge overseeing the estate of the now deceased rock musician Prince, who himself lived in the Twin Cities, narrowed the number of potential heirs in the Prince estate substantially, dismissing the claims of almost 30 people who said that they were related to the singer. Six heirs to the estate, all half siblings, have already been identified as such.
The court allowed two people, both descendants of a person who died several years ago but who claimed he was Prince’s half brother, to participate in DNA testing. Depending on the outcome of the DNA tests, the court’s decision opens the door to these two people sharing a portion of Prince’s estate, which reports estimate to be worth $500 million.
On a lesser note, the court also ruled that Prince was not married at the time of his death, meaning he had no surviving spouse that would inherit under Minnesota probate law. As has been previously reported, Prince appears to have not drafted a will before his death.
Of the 29 people whom the judge essentially ruled out as heirs & beneficiaries, 13 of them were ruled out on legal grounds. The judge reasoned that even if their claims were true, Minnesota probate law imposes a hierarchy on who gets to inherit when no will is in place. The 13 people would not fall high enough in that hierarchy to inherit even if they truly were Prince’s relatives.
As for the remainder of the potential heirs, the judge found that the evidence they presented was not credible enough to go forward or otherwise did not meet the standards set out in the law. Minnesota law does not allow anyone who claims to be an heir to an estate to undergo DNA testing.
Source: New York Daily News, “Judge rules Prince’s disputed half-brother’s daughter, granddaughter can take DNA tests to stake estate claim,” Nancy Dillon, July 29, 2016.