Probate litigation over Prince's estate could last a long time

By now, nearly everyone in Georgia is aware that singer and songwriter Prince died without a will. This is causing a large number of people to come forward either claiming to be related to him or claiming that he promised or owes them money. The probate litigation surrounding his estate could last for a considerable amount of time.

The only verified living, full-blooded relative Prince had left at the time of his death was his sister, Tyka Nelson. He was not married, his parents are deceased and as far as anyone knows at this point, he had no surviving children. Since the announcement of his death, however, numerous people have come forward claiming to be half-siblings, unknown children or cousins. Other people, who are not creditors as far as reports indicate, have also come forward telling them that Prince promised them a sum of money.

Bremer Trust was appointed as the estate's special administrator and is overseeing DNA testing to determine the veracity of those claiming to be related to the late musician. The deadline of June 10 did not keep several people from throwing their hats into the ring recently, however. It is not clear whether their claims will be heard since the deadline had passed.

Needless to say, a great deal of the probate litigation surrounding Prince's estate could have been avoided if he had drawn up a will, along with any other documentation needed in order to dispose of his estate with less controversy. Georgia residents might not have the sizable estate that Prince did, but that does not negate the importance of the fact that every adult could benefit from an estate plan. A will -- and other documents that make up such a plan -- are not only for the living but for surviving family members as well.

Source: USA Today, "'Heirs' to Prince's millions are multiplying", Maria Puente, June 16, 2016

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