Prince’s Estate: The Saga Continues by Scott Montgomery, CLU, ChFC
Posted on June 06, 2017
A Minnesota judge recently ruled that Prince’s six siblings are his rightful heirs ending the first stage of a battle over the late artist’s estimated $200 million estate.
Since Prince died without a will, Minnesota intestate laws dictate who will inherit his fortune. The court revealed that 45 people filed claims of heirship that were rejected. Assets of the estate will not be distributed until federal and state inheritance taxes are paid and the court is satisfied that all legitimate claims are settled.
It is unfortunate that Prince did no estate planning during his life. A proper will could have eliminated a significant amount of legal challenging by legitimate and illegitimate claimants. While heirs would have been spelled out by the artist, a will would not have avoided the expense, delay and publicity of the probate process. A properly drafted revocable living trust with properly titled assets would have avoid probate. Unfortunately for the estate but fortunate for the gawking public, assets and who gets what will be public record once the estate is settled. A properly drafted and funded revocable living trust would avoid this circus.
Of course a will or a revocable trust do nothing to reduce the federal and state inheritance tax of approximately 50% on his estate. In order to reduce or eliminate the tax, more proactive planning was needed during his life. With a little thought and the help of creative advisors, the tax liability could have been reduced by more than 80% which would have enabled him to share those assets with his family or charitable causes he was passionate about.
The list of famous people who did little to plan their estates includes musicians such as Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley. Additionally we get business people and attorneys who you would think would know better such as south Florida sports team icon, Joe Robbie, a past president who was an attorney, Abraham Lincoln and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
We can assist you in thinking through your estate, mitigating publicity and preparing for tax liability.
About the Author: Scott Montgomery, CLU, ChFC, is a director with Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. For more information, call (954) 712-8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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