Fans in Oklahoma and across the rest of the United States recently joined together to mourn the loss of the late singer Prince. Born Prince Rogers Nelson, authorities claim that they have not found any evidence that he engaged in any type of estate planning prior to his death. He left behind no living children and has only one sibling with whom he shares both biological parents, and, while there are statutes and laws that dictate how an estate should be handled in the absence of a will, it is still advised that adults have at least a preliminary estate plan.
The value of Prince's estate is currently valued to be about $250 million, although some speculate that that number will likely grow as grieving fans purchase more of his music. Estate tax is only levied against an estate's value at the time of a person's death, but, with the federal level of non-taxable estate at $5.4 million, Prince's estate could be liable for some hefty taxes. Certain estate planning actions -- such as leaving money to charity -- can help reduce the overall amount owed in estate taxes.
Much speculation has surrounded who will ultimately inherit Prince's estate. One expert believes that Tyka Nelson -- his full biological sister -- is likely to be named as the estate's beneficiary, although his half-siblings would likely also have stakes. The estate includes the rights to Prince's musical library, which includes not only past hits but also newly recorded projects that have yet to be released.
The time following a loved one's death is often fraught with an array of emotions. Most Oklahoma families want to focus on grieving, a process that can be hampered when no will is found. Estate planning not only allows individuals to exercise greater control over their estates and assets after their deaths, but it also helps ease the grieving process for family members by providing clear and concise instructions for estate administration.
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