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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

Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

Scott Montgomery is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants. PWA is not a registered broker/deal and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc., and Provenance Wealth Advisors.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of Raymond James. You should discuss any legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors.


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