Things You Don't Know About Prince's Estate

On April 21, 2016, fans around the world grieved as news broke that legendary musician Prince had died at age 57 in his Minneapolis home. From candlelight vigils and makeshift memorials around the globe, to a heartfelt statement by President Obama, the outpouring of grief confirmed Prince's legacy as a cultural icon. But in the wake of his death, a $300 million question emerged. Prince had no will and no specified heirs. Who would inherit his fortune? Hundreds have emerged to lay claim to Prince's estate. Let's take a closer look at the issue.

Prince did not leave a will

Five days after his passing, Tyka Nelson, Prince's sister and only full sibling, filed a petition in the Carver County, Minn. probate court claiming Prince left no will. According to USA Today, Nelson listed herself and other "interested parties" in the petition, including six half-siblings. Prince was not married and had no known surviving children at the time of his death. Nelson's petition said Prince had "substantial assets consisting of personal and real property that requires protection." He "owned and controlled business interests that require ongoing management and supervision." And he "has heirs whose identities and addresses need to be determined."

Let the squabbling commence.

A judge ordered Bremer Trust to manage Prince's estate

A day after her petition, Nelson and her attorneys held an "informal hearing via conference call" with Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide in an effort to appoint a special administrator to handle the Purple One's estate. The job now rests with Bremer Trust, a wealth management firm based in St. Cloud, Minn. According to the Star Tribune, "The special administrator has the authority to manage and supervise Prince's assets and determine the identity of any heirs. The appointment will last up to six months, or until another petition is filed to administer the estate and a personal representative is appointed."

Wish the firm luck, because things get messy from here.

A Colorado inmate claims Prince is his father

The first paternity claim for Prince's estate comes from 39-year-old Carlin Q. Williams, an inmate sentenced in 2014 to seven years in federal prison for illegal firearm possession, according to Reuters. Williams is reportedly a rapper who goes by the name Prince Dracula. His petition is seeking a DNA test, and it also included a sworn affidavit by his mother, who claims she became pregnant in 1976 after spending the night with Prince in a Kansas City hotel.

An intruder at Prince's estate says he promised her $500K

In keeping with the sports metaphor of, "you miss all the shots you don't take," Kimberly Felecia Potts of Alabama filed a creditor's claim in the amount of $500,000 against Prince's estate. What for? According to court documents obtained by TMZ in May 2016, "Prince invited her to Paisley Park [in 2015] to officially reward her to the tune of $500,000 for creating the 2004 album, 'Musicology,'" and "also wanted her to re-open the NPG Music Club—a website launched back in 2001 but shut down in 2006."

Sounds pretty crazy, right? It gets weirder. In January 2016, TMZ said "cops responded to a 911 call for an intruder at Prince's estate, and found Potts at a side door. She told police Prince had called her for a job."

Prince's dead half-brother's child and grandchild made a joint claim

The next in line to lawyer up: Brianna Nelson and Victoria Nelson, the daughter and granddaughter of Prince's half-brother, Duane Nelson, who died in 2011. Duane wasn't listed in Tyka Nelson's filed probate documents, but Brianna and Victoria's attorney, Andrew Stoltmann, said that may just be an oversight. "I'm not reading nefarious intent into it," he told the New York Daily News. "They're entitled to their share, and we're assuming it's going to be an amicable process."

Stoltmann seems pretty confident, or perhaps he just wants to keep those billable hours ticking.

More than 700 people are claiming to be Prince's long-lost relatives

When we're talking about $300 million with no defined heir, expect the floodgates to open—and oh boy, have they. Henry Morse, of Morse Genealogical Services, told the Daily Mail his phone "has been ringing off the hook, I would say we have received between 600 and 700 calls," he said. "They run the gamut, literally from 'We lived in the same area so we must be related,' to 'We have pictures of Prince at our family reunion.'"

It's become so ridiculous that a judge issued an order on May 6, 2016, giving Bremer Trust permission to take samples of Prince's blood from the Midwest Medical Examiner Office in order to conduct DNA tests, reported the Star Tribune.

If you think you might be related to Prince,  we suggest you act fast because the judge is giving anyone with a claim against Prince's estate just four months from the date of his order to file notice with the court or special administrator. Coincidentally, one major claim was filed that same day by a woman in Atlanta who is seeking "over $750 billion," according to the Star Tribune.

Prince's vault was drilled open

Prior to his death, Prince's vault at his Paisley Park estate was the stuff of legend. It reportedly contained an archive of thousands of unreleased music projects and performance footage. Thanks to Bremer Trust, who reportedly had the vault drilled open, we now know the stories are true.

Prince's vault is the closest thing we have to Bruce Wayne's Batcave. According to a former Paisley Park employee who spoke to Rolling Stone, the vault is "accessible by elevator, it was (and still is) a climate-controlled room hidden behind a steel door straight out a bank, complete with a time lock and large spinning handle. For an extra dash of mystique, only Prince had the combination."