Estate Planning Lessons from the Estates of Michael Jackson and Prince
It has recently surfaced that Prince may not have had a will or any other type of estate planning tool to handle the passing of his assets which presents a unique opportunity to explore the experiences of individuals involved in the Michael Jackson estate as well.
Initially after Michael Jackson passed away, his mother asked for a probate estate to be open for her son believing that he died without any documents. Prince's sister opened a similar request this week in Minnesota.
What Michael Jackson's mother found, however, was that her son had both a revocable living trust and a will. The estate planning documents though, to the family member's surprise, did not place any of them in charge of his trust or his estate, which led to years of legal battles.
Despite the fact that Jackson's family members were initially frustrated with lack of control, his musical legacy and estate have been relatively well-protected since he passed away.
If Prince did not have a trust or a will, then his half siblings and sister stand to inherit the estate. That being said, the estate is valued at approximately $300 million and may be subject to taxes of nearly 50% between Minnesota's taxes and federal estate taxes. Under state law in Minnesota, the half siblings would be treated as full siblings so his half sisters and brothers could be on equal standing with his full sister, Tyka.
One of the biggest challenges with Prince's estate is that they must prove that there were no biological children for Prince. This means that dozens or more individuals may come forward requesting paternity test in this issue.
If you’re ready to take the next step with your estate planning, contact an Ohio estate planning attorney.