Prince was rock star royalty. He died last Thursday at 57 years old.
He was a prolific musician who created a wide-ranging legacy of genre-bending albums and gender-bending fashion statements. This legacy is estimated to be worth about $300 million, making him one of the most valuable entertainers in the world.
As of now, it is uncertain who will end up inheriting the singer-guitarist's fortune. Whoever takes control stands to benefit handsomely from a song library, including hits like "1999" and "When Doves Cry," that is only expected to soar in value in the years ahead.
His wealth includes more than just music and his years of concert ticket sales. His Minnesota compound Paisley Park, where he recorded music and hosted parties, is worth millions. And the Prince name and image are likely to fetch significant licensing income, experts said.
However, Prince's music is expected to remain the cornerstone of his estate — and one that he defended closely as digital shifts turned the recording industry upside down. Prince scored dozens of top 40 hits throughout his career and sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Then there's the potential windfall from the famed "vault" of unreleased material housed at Paisley Park.
Prince was the master of his own economic destiny in a way that is virtually unmatched in today's music business. He owned his recording and publishing copyrights and often played nearly every instrument on his tracks. That gave him an unmatched level of control over his fate even as the record business changed around him.
The fate of Prince's fortune remains to be seen.
It's not yet known if Prince prepared a will. If not, under Minnesota law, the estate would go to his nearest relative, leading some to speculate that it could end up in the hands of his sister, Tyka Nelson. And unless Prince decided to leave his empire to charity, the estate is guaranteed to be closely watched by the Internal Revenue Service, potentially triggering a big estate tax bill for the eventual owner, analysts said.
Prince was known for being meticulous about maintaining control of his copyrights. The question now is, was he that careful about what would happen if he wasn't there?
Located in Merion Station, PA, Sallen Law assists clients with estate planning matters throughout the Philadelphia Main Line area including but not limited to Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County. Attorney Sallen is also licensed to practice in the state of NJ and serves Burlington County, Gloucester County, Camden County.