Judge in no rush to resolve heirship claims to Prince estate

A hearing was held Monday to help narrow down who qualifies as heirs to Prince's estate.

- The Prince estate case returned to probate court in Carver County, Minnesota on Monday morning for a hearing to discuss protocols for determining the legal heirs. Sorting out exactly who stands to inherit Prince’s property and fortune will be something that happens at future hearings.

The main order of business Monday was to establish the ground rules and procedures for determining the legal heirs, including how DNA testing will be conducted.

Carver County Judge Kevin Eide said  those decisions will take time, and he’s in no rush to make those decisions. The judge said he may forward the questions about determining parentage to a higher court for legal guidance, which would make this an even longer process.

Prince died in April from an accidental overdose of fentanyl at his Paisley Park residence, and did not leave a will. He was twice divorced and both his parents preceded him in death. He didn't have any known children, but does have a sister and at least 5 half-siblings.

Since his death, a number of other people seeking a piece of Prince's estate have come forward, claiming to be related to him. Last week, TMZ and the Associated Press reported DNA test results show Colorado prison inmate Carlin Q. Williams is not Prince's son, and therefore is not entitled to an inheritance. 

Under Minnesota law, Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, his half-siblings and other potential relatives stand to inherit shares of the estate, estimated to be worth $300 million. Judge Eide has not set a deadline for filing claims of heirship. The judge has sealed the affidavits of potential heirs due to their "confidential nature."

Previous hearing

In the second hearing on Prince’s estate, held via conference call, the judge approved the hiring of entertainment industry experts by the special administrator.  Bremer Trust said outside experts were needed due to the complexities of managing Prince’s music catalog, contracts, licensing, copyright, digital streaming, dealing with online bootlegging and running Paisley Park. The attorney also expressed concern with the estate having enough cash on hand to pay the 47 to 50 percent of assets the government will take in taxes. The taxes are due on January 21, 2017. Read a full recap at http://www.fox9.com/news/156079543-story

Prince honored at BET Awards

Sunday night, some of the biggest stars in Hollywood paid tribute to Prince at the annual BET Awards. Jonelle Monae, Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson were among those who performed Prince songs. The night ended with one of Prince's former bandmates, Sheila E, holding up a guitar in honor of the music legend. Late last week, Judge Eide granted Bremer Trust permission to license Prince’s music and photos to organizers of the BET Awards.

Do you have Prince memorial photos?

The Minnesota Historical Society wants to collect 100 photographs that illustrate how Minnesotans celebrated and grieved the death of Prince. The organization is asking people to submit photos of the Paisley Park memorial, First Avenue dance parties or other events dedicated to the pop icon. The photos must have been taken between April 21 and May 5. MHS staff will select up to 100 images for their collection.

All images must be submitted via email by July 15. More details on the criteria for the photos at discussions.mnhs.org.

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