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Prince's estate: Up in the air without a will

Media outlets across the country are reporting that Prince might have passed away without a will. While a temporary administrator is searching for any possible will, the artist's sizable estate remains in limbo.

Prince's estate is comprised of two major types of assets. First, there are his tangible properties and investments, including as much as $27 million in real property. Next, there are his musical recordings, written songs and other creative properties, which are likely worth much, much more. All in, Forbes says Prince's estate is likely to be valued between $150 and $300 million.

With so much on the line, is it even possible that Prince didn't have an estate plan? Sadly, it is. Many people of all walks of life avoid estate planning or never get around to it. They believe they will have time tomorrow or they avoid the task because it is unpleasant or scary to them. In the end, the result is that the task of probate and estate administration is that much more unpleasant or scary for heirs.

Absent any will, Prince's estate would be divided among his heirs by law. This point, those heirs would include a sister and five half-siblings. As the case goes on, though, it wouldn't be surprising to see someone claim to be Prince's child -- that happens in both celebrity and noncelebrity cases.

Working with an estate attorney now to provide protection for your heirs can also provide you with peace of mind. You don't need an estate worth millions to want to ensure that your heirs are taken care of and that your wishes are adhered to after you pass away.

Source: Time, "Everything We Know About Prince’s Death, His Estate and His Trove of Unreleased Music," accessed May 06, 2016

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