When superstar Prince died at the age of 57 in April 2016, news of his death shocked the world. While it was revealed that he died of an opioid overdose inside his Minneapolis home, no one was charged with a crime in connection with his death as the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office ruled it an accident.
Though his death remains a tragedy, one thing that has caused major confusion these last few years is the fact that the hit-making singer died without a will. With his massive estate believed to be worth hundreds of millions, the big question still stands: Who inherited Prince’s fortune?
Prince had a hefty fortune when he died
As someone who took the music industry by storm in the 1980s and 1990s, Prince had a pretty penny to his name at the time of his death.
Though the exact amount of his estate remains unclear, sources reported the singer’s fortune to have been about $300 million when he died. Meanwhile, others estimate his estate to be around $150 million.
In January 2021, The Guardian reported that the “Purple Rain” crooner’s estate was worth $163.2 million per the IRS. However, the outlet notes that that number could have dropped due to the hefty tax bills owed to the government and the state of Minnesota.
Prince’s estate remains unsettled
Since his death in April 2016, Prince’s estate has remained unsettled because he died without a will.
Following his death, Prince’s estate went into probate. From there, it fell into the hands of the state to determine how much his assets were worth and who would receive them.
However, since Prince didn’t have any children and wasn’t married, the process of deciding who would inherit his estate soon became a long and difficult one.
With no will outlining who his fortune goes to, it’s possible that Prince’s six siblings — sister, Tyka Nelson and half-siblings, Norrine Nelson, Sharon Nelson, John Nelson, Alfred Jackson, and Omarr Baker — will receive the money seeing as they are his heirs.
But, since there is no official paperwork to go by, the “Kiss” singer’s estate is still unsettled, which has sparked a lot of arguing and unanswered questions about what to do with his fortune.
“It’s not unusual (because) he had complicated assets, he had a lot of money, he didn’t leave a will – not that that would necessarily hasten the process,” Judith T. Younger, a law professor at the University of Minnesota, explained to USA Today in 2019. “His assets are hard to manage. The heirs fight among themselves. But that’s not unique, not in Minnesota or anywhere in the country.”
No one has yet to inherit Prince’s fortune
As of this writing, no one has been named the heir to Prince’s massive estate.
Instead of one of his siblings inheriting his fortune, Prince’s assets remain under the control of administrators who have unloaded a number of his properties, including a lavish Turks and Caicos mansion, to pay for tax bills.
They have also turned his white, aluminum-clad home/office/studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota, as a museum to provide revenue and bring down the amount owed to Uncle Sam.
While the future of Prince’s fortune remains unclear, hopefully, this process will be sorted out in the years to come.