Prince's sister says musician had no known will

Tyka Nelson asked that Bremer Trust be named administrator of the estate.

Tyka Nelson holds a rose outside Paisley Park on Thursday, April 21, 2016. (Photo: AP).
English 26/04/2016 20:53 AP Milwaukee Actualizada 20:56
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Prince's sister believes the superstar musician didn't have a will and asked a Minnesota court on Tuesday to appoint a trust company to temporarily oversee his multimillion-dollar estate.

Tyka Nelson, Prince's only full sibling, said in the court filing that immediate action was necessary to manage Prince's business interests following his death last week at Paisley Park, his famous home and recording studio complex in suburban Minneapolis.

The documents don't estimate how much his estate may be worth, but Prince made hundreds of millions of dollars for record companies, concert venues and others.

And estimates of how much licensing his personal brand will generate after his death reach to the purple clouds. In just three days, the outpouring of grief and nostalgia after his death prompted fans to buy 2.3 million of his songs.

Nelson asked that Bremer Trust, a corporate trust company, be named administrator of the estate. The court documents say Bremer Bank provided financial services to Prince for many years. The court didn't immediately rule.

Prince owned a dozen properties in Minnesota, most of it undeveloped land and some houses for relatives, worth about US$27 million, according to public records. He also sold more than 100 million albums, according to Warner Music Group. And Pollstar, a concert industry magazine, said that in the years that his tours topped the charts - 10 years over four decades performing - the tours raked in US$225 million in ticket sales.

But what remained in Prince's hands is less than the sum of ticket and album sales, given payments to record labels, staff and to cover other expenses.

If he left no will or trust, divvying up his fortune could get complicated, said Susan Link, a top Minnesota probate lawyer. Link said attorneys will need to get Prince's siblings to agree on asset distribution, and that it could get extremely complicated if they don't.

"They will try to set the family down," said Link, who isn't involved in the case. "They're not going to try to light the match and get a big fire going and get everybody fighting about this."

However, someone could still come forward with a will or trust document. When Michael Jackson died in June 2009, longtime lawyer John Branca filed a will six days later, upending moves by Jackson's mother to become his estate's executor based on her assuming there was no will. Just last month, the estate sold off Jackson's stake in publishing company Sony/ATV to Sony Corp. for US$750 million.

Public records show Prince set up more than a dozen companies, though most are now inactive. He also shuffled through lawyers and business managers regularly, meaning he could have created a will at some point without others knowing about it.

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