Whatever Happened to Prince’s Estate

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince is proof positive dying without a Will is just plain wrong. Four years after his April 21, 2016 death, heirs upped the ante in February 2020 by filing suit when his half-brother unexpectedly died.  As Prince would say, Let’s Go Crazy inside his estate distribution and music vault.

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How did Prince die?

Are Prince’s museum and Paisley Park open to visitors?

How much is Prince’s estate?

Did Prince’s siblings get his estate?

How much are the estate’s legal fees?

What is probate?

What happens if you die without a Will?

Pop Star Died Taking Fake Pill

The popular rhythm and blues performer died at his elaborate Paisley Park estate after taking a fake Vicodin tablet. The painkiller was illicitly laced with the killer opioid fentanyl, 50 times more powerful than heroin. Prosecutors concluded the death was accidental. Prince was addicted to painkillers but likely unaware the pill was counterfeit. Nor was there any evidence it was planted.

Music Museum Valuable Asset

60 Minutes took a peek inside Prince’s private music vault. Read the interview.

Paisley Park, Prince Roger Nelson’s home, museum, and music studio in Chanhassen, Minn., was his  most visible asset. The 65,000 square foot complex has been the site of public tours, concerts, and impromptu events for almost 30 years. Prince sang about it in his 1985 song Paisley Park two years before it opened. The iconic structure surely helped put Minneapolis, where the five-foot-two pop star was born, on the fandom map.

Tour Recreates the Man and the Myth 

Visitors see his personal archives, concert wardrobe, and memorabilia. They can view his awards, instruments and art, and listen to the star’s music and video recordings. Amazing though it may be, his vast holdings expose the dark underbelly of dying without a Will. Tour Paisley Park

Prince Left Enormous Estate 

A year after his death, independent recording studio RMA and co-producer Ian Boxill released six Prince tunes recorded between 2006 and 2008. They add to his huge collection of 68 albums produced in his lifetime. Prince sold more than 100 million recordings worldwide, netting 27th spot on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists of all time list. 

Calculating Prince’s Final Worth 

The profits keep rolling in. Warner Bros. released Piano & a Microphone 1983 in 2018 and Originals in 2019. The albums reached 11 and 15 respectively on Billboard’s music charts. The singer is rumoured to have a vault stashed with unreleased recordings. His final estate was valued at $156 million by a Minnesota court and, like the pop star’s infamous 1996 three-disc album, Emancipation, set in August 2022. Valuing your estate. 

Declaring last will and testament

Half-brother’s Death New Estate Twist

Prince’s estate took on a new twist with half-brother Alfred Jackson’s death. The childless sibling, one of six legal heirs named by the court, sold 90% of his rights to the star’s estate to New York entertainment company Primary Wave in 2019. Within hours, the 66-year-old died of heart disease. Primary Wave joined the estate mashup in court. 

Primary Wave joined the estate mashup in court as Prince Oat Holdings LLC. The company received half of Prince’s estate, representing Jackson’s share and those of siblings Tyka Nelson and Omarr Baker. Prince’s remaining siblings, Sharon, John, and Norinne Nelson (Prince Legacy LLC) were awarded the balance. The final settlement included $3 million to close the estate, prepare the estate’s final tax report, and pay outstanding lawsuits. Prince’s life and times

How to pick an executor of Wills

LA Consultant Next in Line

Jackson, on the other hand, willed his own personal estate to LA entertainment consultant Raffles van Exel. Van Exel is no ordinary heir. He befriended Whitney Houston, blues singer Ray Charles, and mega pop star Michael Jackson’s family. Prince’s siblings contested Exel’s and Primary Wave’s shares, arguing his half-brother was vulnerable because he had schizophrenia and Parkinson’s. Stopping coercion

Adding to the spectacle are massive legal and estate fees. Courthouse records show Prince’s estate paid out $7.3 million in fees and legal expenses by January 2019. They include fees to a bank administering the estate, an entertainment consultant and $3.8 million for legal bills. His heirs received $343,000 for legal services from the estate and spent hundreds of thousands more to pay their own lawyers. Siblings Tyke Nelson and Jackson owe liens on their estate shares totalling over $1.7 million.

How to write a Will in Ontario. 

Avoid Probate Delays With a Personal Will

No doubt Prince’s estate way exceeds your assets. Still, making a Will is way cheaper than probating an estate without one. Axess Law can make individual and mirror Wills for you and a legally married or common law spouse. Committing your final wishes to writing costs takes just a small investment of your time and money. It can be smooth sailing from there for your estate executors. Do I need a probate lawyer? 

No Will, No Peace of Mind 

Not having a Will when you die complicates everything. Your personal property and possessions are considered intestate and your relatives may have to go to an Ontario probate court to get a certificate of appointment of estate trustee without a Will. If you have no immediate heirs to fend for you, the Province of Ontario will take over. Why leave distributing your estate to chance when making a Will can leave an enduring legacy? 

How to leave your spouse out of your Will. 

Affordable Wills Lawyers, Anywhere You Are 

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or use our remote Wills and power of attorney lawyers anywhere in Ontario. Axess Law has an affordable, flat fee lawyer near you. Our rates are affordable and all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your bill is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it. 

Hire lawyers for Wills for less. 

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Use a Virtual Notary for Your Ontario Estate 

When you need a Will or probate documents notarized, contact Axess Law’s Ontario notary publics. Our licensed lawyers are virtual notaries and can connect online via video conference 7 days a week. Call 1-877-522-9377, 647-479-0118 in Toronto, or use our online booking form for day or evening appointments. In person legal consultations are available at our conveniently located Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa law offices.

Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s notary public services.