Newman Law Group

Questions, considerations abound regarding artist Prince's estate

Although no one is bigger than life, of course, a few select entertainers almost seem to assume that stature, especially when their fame endures in a big way after they pass away.

The media is still saturated with myriad reports focused upon varied aspects of the artist Prince's life, of course, given that the huge global icon died just last Thursday. It seems almost a cut-and-dried certainty that Prince will continue to be widely known and celebrated by legions of fans in years and decades to come.

And, given that, it seems just as much a certainty that matters relating to his estate will loom large both now and in the future.

And that will be both complex and fascinating.

Already reports are addressing news-related tangents such as whether Prince left a will (it seems almost inexplicable that he wouldn't have done so), who will administer his far-flung affairs, what will be revealed about various bequests and inheritances, and tax matters.

The tax focus will be key, given that the estate will be valued by the IRS and, as noted in one account discussing Prince's passing and related estate planning considerations, there is a ticking "countdown until the tax man takes a bite out of the star's estate."

That estate includes far more than Prince's extensive Paisley Park mansion, of course, and other realty holdings. It also includes earnings from intellectual property and intangible assets, such as future royalties that will come into play.

That will make for a good deal of complexity and, undoubtedly, some disagreement between estate attorneys and administrators on the one hand and tax officials on the other.

In addition, of course, the estate will continue in the future as a profit-generating entity, and there will be many planning considerations to think about and smart strategies to employ to protect assets, lawfully avoid taxes, take care of beneficiaries and so forth.

Prince lived a colorful and flamboyant life, full of twists and turns. It wouldn't be surprising if some of the material details relating to his estate turn out to be surprising and dramatic. If they are, we will be sure to pass them along to readers.

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