Music fans around the world have been saddened by the death of Prince, the diminutive pop star who had amassed an estate variously estimated at between $150 and $800million. Strangely, with all the advice he must have had at his fingertips over the years, it seems the 57-year-old singer has not left a will which means the distribution of his wealth is left to the laws of intestacy. His fortune is likely to be split between his younger sister and five half-siblings.
For music lovers, there’s another problem. Prince had a huge collection of unpublished music at his Paisley Park mansion and there’s some uncertainty as to whether any of it will ever be released.
But Prince isn’t the only star who didn’t leave a will. He joins the illustrious ranks of Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. It could be argued that as they died young, they have an excuse for not having their affairs in order.
Some others, however, have little excuse. Barry White, Pablo Picasso, Rik Mayall, Martin Luther King and Howard Hughes all died intestate. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was a lawyer and really should have known the value of arranging a will.
Most of them left behind a mess for their families to deal with, a mess that in many cases took years and a lot of money to sort out. Equally importantly, it’s the laws of intestacy that decide who gets what, not the person whose estate it was.
Several of Prince’s friends say that he had not wanted to make a will – he just couldn’t face it. Some also suggest he didn’t think he would ever die. Unfortunately, it’s something that will come to us all and if we want to make things easier for our loved ones, we might as well be prepared. After all, it’s never too soon to make a will… but it can often be too late.
MVL Wills and Trusts Ltd can arrange your will and put bespoke asset protection in place to safeguard your inheritance for your loved ones. Contact us on 01424 577070 or [email protected] for a free consultation.