Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Prince's Heirs: Star's Sister Says He Died Without a Will

When pop powerhouse Prince died last week at age 57, it came as a shock to fans. But it seems that the musician was also not expecting such an early demise, as his sister this week filed documents saying he died without a will.

"The Decedent died intestate," Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, wrote in her petition to the courts for the appointment of a special administrator to deal with Prince's estate, according to USA Today. It's still possible that Prince does have a will somewhere -- his attorney has not responded to reporters' requests for comment. But Nelson says she does not know of one. Let's take a look at intestacy, in light of her filing.

Prince's Heirs

According to Nelson's court filing, Prince left no spouses or children, and his estate is reportedly valued at $300 million. Nelson is Prince's full sister. Besides her, Prince is survived by half-siblings and their children, named in the petition. If indeed Prince left no will, his fortune will pass to surviving family members as designated by the intestacy statute of Minnesota.

Intestacy in Brief

Laws on inheritance without a will, or intestacy, vary widely from state to state, although many locations base their statutes on the 1990 Uniform Probate Code. The 1990 code is meant to serve as a model law for states and is a good basis for a general discussion of intestacy.

Under the 1990 Uniform Probate Code, the closest surviving relatives will inherit a decedent's property, meaning spouse, descendants, and descendants of the parents (the latter being the deceased's siblings and their kids).When there is no survivor among this class of relatives, property "escheats" to the state under the Uniform Probate Code, becoming the property of the state by default.

Nelson's filing seems to indicate that the estate should pass to her and Prince's half-siblings. "I do not know of the existence of a Will and have no reason to believe that the Decedent executed testamentary documents in any form," she stated. So, unless Prince's lawyer knows otherwise and is keeping quiet, it looks like Nelson and the rest of the family stand to inherit Paisley Park and the riches that Prince generated with his music.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources: