Prince’s will saga: dramatic but not surprising

(CNN)As the entire world knows, Prince died last week at the age of 57, leaving behind an estate worth millions of dollars, along with music and other intellectual property of inestimable value.

Amazingly enough, Prince also died without a will.


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Admittedly, there’s a big difference between the fortunes of Paisley Park and our own assets. Let’s be honest: if you’re a single, rudderless forty-something whose assets consist of some commemorative plates and a rusted Dodge Dart, your family won’t be racing to probate court after your funeral. But if you have children or a spouse, planning ahead for the worst will give you some peace of mind.
For instance, because Prince didn’t leave any enforceable rules about what to do with his music, his heirs can do what they want. And that’s where it’s going to get interesting. It’s one thing to divvy up dollars among six people, but how do you divide a guitar collection, or “Purple Rain,” or an unfinished piece of music, among heirs? And what if they don’t agree on how to use or sell those things? That’s when the situation could really go crazy.
Ultimately, the probate of Prince’s estate and the saga that results will reinforce two sobering realities: that all of us should have a will, but most of us still won’t bother to get one made.

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