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Prince Heirs Settle Estate Dispute More Than Six Years After His Death

The artist's six half-siblings have finally come to an agreement
Richard E. Aaron / Contributor

Prince‘s heirs have finally kissed and made up. The late music legend’s family members and advisers have put to rest all remaining issues involving the disbursement of his $156 million in assets, according to court papers reviewed by SPIN.

Prince died in April 2016 at age 57 of a fentanyl overdose, without leaving a will. As such, and because he had no living children or a spouse, his six half-siblings were named heirs. Unfortunately, they could not come to an agreement on how to manage the estate moving forward and frequently found themselves in court. Three half-siblings sold their shares to Primary Wave, while three others kept their shares and retained longtime Prince advisor L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer to oversee them.

In January, the heirs and the Internal Revenue Service agreed on a final tax valuation of $156 million for the estate, and the following month, a Minnesota judge approved a proposed asset split between Primary Wave and the heirs. The parties have now created separate limited liability corporations to oversee their shares of the estate and as of yesterday (Aug. 1), Judge Kevin W. Eide has signed off on the agreement.

Throughout the dispute, the estate has managed to release a number of posthumous and archival Prince collections with different label partners, including 2021’s Welcome 2 America with Legacy. Warner Bros. has handled several deluxe back catalog reissues of classics such as Purple Rain, 1999, and Sign O’ the Times.

Click here to read SPIN‘s oral history of Purple Rain.