Prince’s Estate Might Be Worth Much Less Than We Think

June 8, 2016, 1:28 PM UTC
Prince performs during the "Pepsi Halftime Show" at Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Photograph by Jed Jacobsohn — Getty Images

It’s well-documented at this point that Prince apparently died without leaving a will.His estate is worth roughly $300 million, by some estimates, and so it’s understandable that the artist’s relatives are anxious to settle the division of assets — but it also seems that, that thanks to taxes, the actual value of those assets might be drastically diminished.

NBC News reports that half of the $300 million sum will go to taxes. If there isn’t sufficient cash to foot that bill, those handling his estate might have to pawn off his physical assets: the thousands of unreleased songs in his vault; his guitars; rights to his image and music; perhaps his famous home cum recording studio Paisley Park in Minnesota.

This risk should incentivize the parties at hand to resolve the estate debate swiftly, financial actors said.

“If we do not, the government will not wait,” Douglas Peterson, a lawyer who represents the wealth management firm handling Prince’s estate, told the judge presiding over the case, according to NBC. “They will have a fire sale, and that is not in the best interests of anyone.”

The heirs could be determined by the end of this month, when a probate hearing is scheduled.

[NBC News]