Michigan probate administration: Movement in Prince case

Few people in Michigan and elsewhere have the type of assets that music icon Prince left behind when he died. However, this is still a case from which people can learn. Without a valid estate plan in place, probate administration can take a long time.

Prince died in April 2016. As he died without a will or any other estate plan in place, there has been question about who should inherit his assets. Many have come forward to make claims on the estate. However, more than a year later, a judge has finally made a decision about who will be named as beneficiaries.

According to a recent report, over 45 people claimed to have legal rights to the estate as surviving family members. However, the vast majority of these claims were ultimately rejected due to failed DNA tests or insufficient evidence. A probate judge finally named Prince's sister and his five half-siblings as the beneficiaries of his estate. Together, they will have to figure out how to split his assets which are said to have a value of about $200 million.

Those whose claims were rejected do still have the right to file appeals. Until all appeals have been reviewed, the distribution of assets will be put on hold. Those who wish to file appeals have one year in which to do so.

So, it took one year to get a judge's decision on beneficiaries, and will take another year for people to file appeals. More time for those appeals to be reviewed. Without an estate plan in place, probate administration in this case is going to take at least two years to finalize, perhaps more. Michigan residents can make sure that their loved one's avoid this type of situation by putting together an estate plan with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Source: ABC News, "Judge confirms Prince's 6 siblings as heirs to his estate", Amy Forliti, May 19, 2017