The six-year legal battle over the value of Prince’s estate was finally settled, with the figure given as $156.4 million.
Details were revealed in a court filing on Jan. 14, bringing an early end to the dispute, which was set to return to court in March. Comerica Bank, the estate’s administrator, had registered a value of $82.3 million, while the IRS believed it was worth $163.2 million and also wanted to levy a $6.4 million “accuracy-related penalty.”
“Since then,” the Star Tribune reported, “a phalanx of lawyers and consultants have been paid tens of millions of dollars to administer his estate and come up with a plan for its distribution. Two of Prince’s six sibling heirs, Alfred Jackson and John R. Nelson, have since died. Two others are in their 80s.”
The report added that, assuming all agreements are in place, “the estate will be almost evenly divided between a well-funded New York music company – Primary Wave – and the three oldest of the music icon’s six heirs or their families.” That arrangement comes after three siblings cut a deal with Primary Wave while the other three rejected it. Cash could be shared out as soon as next month but the final figure to be divided will come after the IRS and the state of Minnesota have taken their cuts, expected to be in the tens of millions in total.
Comerica Bank said in a statement that they believed they could have won the case had it completed its progress through court, but that “the members of the heir group have uniformly communicated… their strong desire that the estate settle with the taxing authorities.” Additionally, the three siblings had already spent an “undisclosed portion of their estate” to the legal firm representing them. “It has been a long six years,” their attorney L. Londell McMillan said at the filing in Carver County District Court.
The value of Prince’s real estate had been agreed last year, but putting a price on “intangible assets” such as music rights proved more challenging. His death in 2016 without having written a will added further complexities to the process of liquidation.
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