Prince died without a will, six siblings likely to share fortune

Fri Apr 29, 2016 4:10pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis and Jill Serjeant

(Reuters) - Music superstar Prince left no known will when he died last week, his sister said in court documents on Tuesday listing his six siblings or half-siblings as heirs to a legacy estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

The sister, Tyka Nelson, asked that a special administrator be appointed to handle Prince's affairs and that she be appointed to probate his estate.

In documents filed in a state court in Carver County, Minnesota, Nelson listed herself and five other siblings or half-siblings as Prince's heirs but gave no value of his assets or debts.

Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was married and divorced twice. Under Minnesota law, Prince's assets are likely to be split evenly between the siblings, according to attorney Stephen Hopkins.

The value of his music catalog alone has been estimated at over $500 million, according to Prince's first manager, Owen Husney. That included potential licensing rights for film, TV, commercials and videogames that Prince rarely exploited, Husney said last week.

The influential singer, musician and songwriter behind hits like "Purple Rain" was found dead at age 57 on Thursday in an elevator at his Paisley Park Studios compound in a Minneapolis suburb. The cause of death was not yet known.

Michael Kosnitzky, a New York- and Miami-based attorney who advises the extremely wealthy, said he was surprised Prince had died without a will, given the artist's tendency to control his image, likeness, name and recordings.

"... That he would put himself in a position that he would lose control of those things at death I found very surprising," Kosnitzky said.   Continued...

A man writes on a makeshift memorial as fans gather at Harlem's Apollo Theater to celebrate the life of Prince in Manhattan. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly