Famed musician Prince died in 2016 without a will in place. A judge ultimately named the singer's brothers and sisters as his heirs. Three years have gone by since his death and the beneficiaries have yet to have any assets distributed to them. Estate litigation rages on and there seems to be no end in sight for when this estate case will come to a close. While few estate cases in New Jersey will see issues as complex as those seen in the Prince estate case, some beneficiaries may find themselves dealing with some of the same issues that Prince's heirs have found themselves struggling with.
According to a recent report, the beneficiaries of Prince's estate have asked the courts to limit the administrator's control. Currently, Comerica Bank & Trust is the assigned administrator. To date, this firm has been paid over $10 million from the estate for services rendered, yet estate taxes still have not been paid. Until the tax liability is taken care of, the estate cannot be closed and assets cannot be distributed.
Comerica claims it is still working on a number of projects that will benefit the estate. The company is asking the court to reject the heirs' petition. It claims approving the request to limit Comerica's control will increase the amount of time it takes to close out the estate, not speed it up. Only time will tell with whom the court will side.
The prolonged administration process and estate litigation in the Prince case has cost his beneficiaries millions. It is understandable that they want the estate closed out as soon as possible. While the average estate in New Jersey may not have millions on the line, beneficiaries still stand to lose a lot when an estate administrator drags his or her feet and litigation becomes necessary. Legal counsel can assist beneficiaries as they work through litigation and seek to bring the estate administration process to a close as quickly as possible.