Prince’s Estate. Why Has it Taken so Long?
Here are the reasons an estate administration might be delayed or take some time.
No Estate Plan In Place
If you die without a Will in Texas, the state of Texas, essentially, writes a Will for you. The process of having the heirs determined, by definition, takes longer because it requires additional notice and the appointment of an attorney ad litem. Minnesota and most states have a similar procedure.
When a person has a valid Will, there is no question about who, ultimately, will own the Estate, so that issue is eliminated quickly.
When there is no Will, then anyone who might have a claim of paternity or blood relationship to the decedent may bring a claim to establish their rights. Since Prince had no Will, it is left to the Court to decide who is his rightful heir and the new owner of his fortune.
Too Many Claimants
The Judge ruled that without a biological connection there’s no law to support the claim. So just as that claim had to be heard and decided, so do all the others. At the same time, the Court has a docket with many other cases besides the Prince case. In addition, every hearing requires that all claimants and their attorneys receive notice and that each of them are available. With that many parties and that many attorneys and, in turn, that many calendars, it is difficult to even get a setting on the Court’s docket that does not conflict with something.
Property may have to be sold to pay such creditor’s claims or taxes. Property may have to be sold in order to make final distribution because certain properties cannot be divided. Lawsuits must be filed to pursue property belonging to the Estate. Lawsuits must be defended to prevent Estate assets from being paid out to creditors, if cause for contesting the claim exists. Lawsuits have to be resolved.
So, there are many business matters particularly, for an Estate that size of Prince’s, that must be addressed and completed before any inheritance distribution can be made.
Prince’s Estate disputes that there is any record of Prince or it being paid the agreed upon amount for the music rights. An estate administration cannot end and an estate cannot be closed until all lawsuits are resolved, which, necessarily, slows down the division of an estate. The reason is because the personal representative cannot know what is left to distribute until the estate is aware of how much it may owe or how much is owed to it.
Do Not Let Your Inheritance Rights Be Ignored or Forgotten
In Texas, there are mechanisms to prevent the latter, but it is always better to enter your appearance in the estate and to assert and enforce your rights. Spencer, Johnson, & Harvell, PLLC can represent you in this endeavor and would be proud to be your attorneys.
Contact us to learn more about what you need to do to pursue your inheritance rights and to protect your inheritance rights.