It has been two weeks since Prince’s sudden death. As shocking as his passing was to fans across the world, it may be equally as puzzling that he reportedly did not have a will.
According to a recent latimes.com report, Prince died without any living parents, was unmarried and did not have any children. Because of this, under Minnesota law, his estate is to be divided amongst his sister and five half-siblings. In fact, a recent petition filed by his sister was ruled upon, and a state court judge found that no evidence of a will currently exists.
Prince was a universal star not just because of his talent alone. He was a shrewd businessman who recently regained control of his catalog from Warner Bros., and often dealt with record companies and concert promoters personally. He also was very careful to maintain control of his public image and seldom dealt with attorneys. How could a person with this much business knowledge not have a plan for when he was gone?
While this question seems unfathomable, it is not uncommon for rich celebrities to pass away without an estate plan. Jimi Hendrix, Sonny Bono, and Howard Hughes are among a famous list of people who did not have wills when they passed away. It also reflects an unfortunate pattern: that people often put off things that they should deal with in the present, and planning for one’s mortality is one of them.
Prince’s death may be another unfortunate lesson in the dangers of procrastination.