The death of the great musical artist Prince last month left fans, friends and family devastated. While his impact lives on through his music and performances, his legacy is not as certain. Unfortunately, Prince did not consider the importance of wills during his lifetime, leaving his assets in the hands of the probate process.
What does this mean for the deceased artist’s inheritance? Prince did not have a will prepared while he was living, leaving him intestate and his estate to be managed by probate court.
The Fate of Prince’s Estate
Normally, when a person dies intestate (meaning without a prepared will or plans for his or her estate), the estate is distributed to family members in an order determined by the state. These are called “intestate succession” laws, and in Texas, the line of succession is as follows:
There are intricacies to succession, such as having both a spouse and children. In this case, even though the spouse is first in the line of succession, the children have a claim to part of the estate as well. Depending on surviving and existing family, intestate succession laws can get complicated. Working with a knowledgeable probate attorney is best.
In Prince’s probate case, he died without a spouse, children, or surviving parents. Siblings and half-siblings are now filing claims to his estate through the court, which will be a long and potentially messy process.
The Importance of Wills and Estate Planning
The dilemma over Prince’s estate could have been avoided had a will been prepared prior to his death. A very successful and busy artist, he had many things to consider besides estate planning.
While the possibility of a will still exists, each day that passes without its discovery makes it more and more unlikely. The probate court proceedings on his inheritance show how difficult it can be to distribute estate when someone dies intestate.
Without a will and no solid intestate succession, it will be a while before his siblings and half-siblings know what they will receive from the artist’s estate. The first probate court meeting was held May 2nd, and while it lasted for less than fifteen minutes, there were 11 lawyers present.
Estate planning, especially wills and trusts, protect loved ones from the stress of probate court and possible litigation after your death. Take Prince’s estate dilemma as a prime example of the importance of wills.
Houston Wills Attorney
Estate planning is an important part of ensuring your estate goes to the right hands after your death. Morris Ostrom Law has years of experience in helping clients create wills and trusts, as well as appoint powers of attorney. We can answer any questions you have and help you organize your assets to plan for the future.
Give us a call at 888-869-9015 today to schedule an estate planning or probate consultation.