According to Prince’s sister, the musician didn’t have a known will during his death. Paperwork was filed seeking the Minneapolis court to designate an administrator for his estate.
No clarity in Prince’s assets
The total money that Prince left behind is not really clear. A fortune which was originally estimated in hundreds of millions may just be much less.
Prince has owned multiple properties in his well-known Paisley Park complex located in suburban Minneapolis. These are mostly rural land and a few houses for family members. In 2016, public records indicate these were worth around $27 million.
According to the Warner Music Group, Prince also sold more than 100 million albums while still alive. Pollstar also said that his tours took ticket sales amounting to about $225 million. His best touring year where earnings were at $87.4 million during 2004 was the year he got inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 20 years after the “Purple Rain” soundtrack got to multi-platinum.
However, what remained in his hands is less than the total album and ticket sales. For a record deal, there is a cut going to the label, music publishers and background performers even if he published and also wrote his songs. Also, concert ticket sales are also split between the venue, the staff, the promoter and cost of travel abroad. He was also known to throw costly parties. The court battles indicate how money was not free flowing.
Prince’s tax difficulties
On a suit filed in April 2013 at the New York Supreme Court, he lost to Revelations Perfume and Cosmetics Inc. because he failed to do a promotion of their “3121” line. He was asked to settle $4.4 million but never did. The lawyers searched for his assets and found around $3 million in some Minnesota bank accounts. The court ordered to freeze the accounts, and Prince settled for a smaller amount after.
He also had tax difficulties over the years that included owing taxes in 2012 to France which he settled. There was overdue property taxes too in 2010 amounting to $450,000. In 2013, there was a federal tax lien of $1.6 million against him.
Prince’s post-mortem earnings
CMG Worldwide’s Mark Roesler estimates his post-mortem earnings to match the other top earning deceased celebrities such as Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson, but he could dominate their earnings.
Although Prince’s tax difficulties were unclear, for the common taxpayer this can become a hassle especially when audit cases need to be defended, undesirable outcomes need to be disputed or a case needs to be appealed. This is where insurance against tax investigation helps.