Arts&Culture

Judge rules on who official heirs of Prince's estate will be

Judge rules on who official heirs of Prince's estate will be

In an order filed Thursday (May 18), Carver County District Court Judge Kevin Eide officially found that the singer's six siblings - his sister, Tyka Nelson; two half-sisters, Sharon Nelson and Norrine Nelson; and three half-brothers, Omarr Baker, John R. Nelson and Alfred Jackson - are the lawful heirs to the estate, reportedly valued around $200 million, reports Billboard.

In practical terms, the ruling will not immediately hand over Prince's fortune - which is estimated to be worth up to $300 million - to his siblings.

Some of those people filed legal appeals, and Eide said that if appellate courts send any of the rejected claimants back to him, he will consider them.

DNA tests have ruled out several claims from people purporting to be Prince's children.

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The judge's ruling could also provide more clarity on control of Prince's legendary vault of unreleased songs, with question marks already rising over deals sealed since Prince's death. The motion will be presented before Judge Eide on May 31.

Meanwhile, Universal Music Group and Comerica Bank, the manager of Prince's estate, are moving ahead with plans to terminate the US$31m [NZ$44.8m] recorded-music deal announced earlier this year.

Prince was a sworn foe of music industry conventions and in the mid-1990s wrote "slave" on his cheek and changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol after Warner tried to control his prodigious output.

Prince left no known will when he died of an accidental painkiller overdose in April 2016. Andrew Stoltmann, a lawyer for the woman and girl who say they are Prince's niece and grand-niece, said Friday that he hadn't seen the new ruling but would examine it and determine whether to appeal it.


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