The Death of a Prince

The world is still reeling from the sudden death of singer/songwriter Prince who passed away of still unknown causes at the age of 57. An outpouring of grief and tributes for the music legend have occurred, including gestures from musicians across genres performing covers of Prince’s songs to AMC Theaters showing Prince’s 1984 film Purple Rain at select locations across the country.

Details of his discovery have been released but why the 57-year-old died is still a mystery. Prince was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park estate on Thursday. The estate is located in Prince’s home state of Minnesota. He was born Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis. A memorial is reportedly to be held at the estate in Chanhassen and the results of tests that could indicate a cause of death should be forthcoming.

Prince’s body was released to his family on Friday and according to multiple sources, the singer’s remains have been cremated following an autopsy, but the investigation continues. Carver Country Sheriff Jim Olson said in a press conference after the autopsy that Prince was last seen around 8 p.m. Wednesday by an acquaintance who was dropping him off at his estate. He was alone at the estate for some time until three members of his staff came to check on him in the morning after he was unreachable and they discovered him in an elevator, said Olson.

The sheriff told the public that there were no clear signs of trauma on the singer’s body and that, “We have no reason to believe at this point that it’s a suicide, but it’s early on in the investigation.”

Prince died without a spouse or children, leading some to speculate on who will inherit his estate worth $300 million, according to the Daily Mail. Minnesota state law requires that family members inherit assets in a particular order if no will is left. Children and spouses come first, but when there is no spouse or children, grandchildren are next in line. Siblings and parents are then considered.

Prince had a son with his first wife Mayte Garcia, but he died of natural causes shortly after being born. The singer’s marriage to his second wife ended in 2006 and both of his parents are deceased. Therefore, his sister Tyka Nelson could be the one to inherit his estate, though he did have half-siblings of which little is known.

If Prince did have a will he might have left money to someone or something else. He was reportedly a devout Jehovah’s Witness after he converted in 2001 following the death of his infant son.

Celebrities and those with large estates need to consider how their assets will be divided upon their demise or risk significant losses in assets and privacy. Yet everyone can benefit from estate planning. Without estate planning, estates could be subject to state law and probate.

Even with some written form of instructions on the handling of one’s estate upon death, state law could override them if comprehensive estate planning is not enacted properly. A legal document assistant is able to act on one’s behalf to complete documents like wills that help avoid probate and ensure the carrying out of one’s final wishes. Please contact CALDA.org to find a LDA today.

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