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Prince's estate still not distributed to heirs

Tennessee fans of Prince may be aware that he died without a will. Two years later, his heirs have yet to receive anything from his estate.

Only the executor and attorneys dealing with Prince's estate have been paid while the state and the IRS have both collected taxes. Unfortunately, the value of the estate that remains after bills are paid cannot be divided among the six siblings that survive Prince until there is an agreement between the IRS and the executor regarding the estate's value when he died.

Typically, this is the process that an estate must undergo when a person dies intestate, meaning without a will. The probate court appoints someone to manage the estate, which includes paying off creditors and distributing assets to beneficiaries. An estate must go through probate even if the person has a will, but the difference is that assets will be distributed based on the deceased's wishes as expressed in the will. If Prince had created a trust and placed his assets in it, then the estate would not have gone through probate, and assets could have passed directly to beneficiaries.

Since it bypasses the probate process, a trust usually means that beneficiaries get their assets more quickly than with a will. However, this is not always the case, and, in fact, a person might choose to use a trust because it allows him or her more control over how his or her assets are distributed. For example, a beneficiary might only receive distributions after reaching a certain age or at the discretion of the trustee. Other advantages of using a trust are that it keeps the estate private, unlike probate, and might protect assets from creditors.

Source: Forbes, "Two Years Later, Prince's Heirs Have Still Not Received A Penny Of His Estate," Mark Eghrari, 4/18/2018

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