Trusts & Estates

Prince died without a will, his sister says in court filing

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Prince performing at Super Bowl XLI. Anthony Correia /

Prince reportedly may have had millions in assets when he died Thursday, at age 57, at his suburban Minneapolis home.

But his sister said in a Tuesday probate filing in Minnesota’s Carver County District Court that he does not have a will. Citing an emergency need for someone to manage his business interests, Tyka Nelson is seeking the appointment of a special administrator, the Associated Press reports.

Prince had no children, spouse or surviving parents. Five half-siblings of Prince were also listed on the document as interested parties, the New York Times (reg. req.) reported. Half-siblings are treated the same as full siblings under Minnesota law.

The singer, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, had a “revolving circle” of lawyers and business advisers, according to the New York Times. He also handled many of his business affairs himself.

Nelson is asking the court to appoint a Bremer Bank affiliate as special administrator, because the bank has handled Prince’s financial matters for some time.

Lee Phillips—a senior partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips who was Prince’s lawyer in the Purple Rain era—told the Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq. blog last week that he hoped Prince had an estate plan.

“You can write in [the will] saying I’ve formed this trust, such and such is the trustee, and he’s instructed to not grant any licenses for commercial use of my songs. He can continue, in effect, from the grave to control the usage of his songs. Who knows if he even has a will? He was a unique person.”

Related coverage:

CNN Money: “Who gets Prince’s millions?”

Fox News: “Prince may be worth much less than previously estimated, much more in death”

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