Prince’s Estate Planning Lessons

When popular music artist Prince passed away in April, his estate was estimated to be worth about $250 million. Without proper estate planning, an estate that size could pay more than $100 million in estate taxes to the federal government.1

Unfortunately, Prince didn’t have an estate plan. According to Minnesota law, his home state where he passed away, Prince’s estate should be distributed to his most immediate family members, which in this case includes his siblings.2 Initially, there was a claim that Prince had a son, but this claim was disproved. Had it been legitimate, a good portion of his estate could have gone to a son he never met as opposed to the family members with whom he was close. Also note that Minnesota law treats full and half siblings equally.3

With proper estate planning, Prince could possibly have avoided the federal estate tax and left up to $100 million more to his designated beneficiaries.4

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1 Ingrid Case. Financial Planning. May 24, 2016. "The many missed opportunities of Prince’s estate" Accessed June 20, 2016.

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