Estate of Prince, who died without a will, finally settled; 50/50 split between publisher, siblings

The years-long court battle over Prince’s $156 million estate came to a close this week when a Minnesota judge signed off on a deal that will disburse the late singer’s assets equally between publisher Primary Wave, three of the late singer’s siblings, People reports. 

Prince died of a fentanyl overdose at age 57 at his Paisley Park home in Carver County, Minnesota on April 21, 2016. He didn’t have a will. As reported previously by theGrio, Primary Wave, which owns nearly half of the estate, bought out a majority of the interests of three of Prince’s half siblings, Tyka Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson.

The agreement paves the way for the cash in Prince’s estate to be divided evenly between Prince Oat Holdings LLC, which is owned by Primary Wave, and Prince Legacy LLC, which includes three of Prince’s half siblings – Sharon Nelson, John Nelson and Norrine Nelson – and advisors L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer.

The court order deal also states that Comerica Bank & Trust, the financial institution that handled the estate’s transactions during litigation, will retain $3 million in reserve funds to pay “the costs and expenses associated with closing the Estate.” Among other requirements, Comerica must distribute any unspent funds to Prince Oat Holdings LLC and Prince Legacy LLC 50/50 between now and Jan. 31, 2024.

A rep for Primary Wave said in a statement to Billboard that the company is “extremely pleased that the process of closing the Prince Estate has now been finalized.”

“Prince was an iconic superstar and this transfer out of the court’s jurisdiction puts in place professional, skilled management,” Primary Wave said. “When we announced our acquisition of the additional expectancy interests in the estate last year bringing our ownership interest to 50%, our goal was to protect and grow Prince’s incomparable legacy. With the distribution of estate assets, we look forward to a strong and productive working relationship.”

McMillan also noted in a statement that he and his partners are looking forward to “implementing things the way Prince did.”

“I represented Prince for over 13 years and we led with innovation to reform the music industry – we hope to do the same with his amazing assets and catalog, from his music, film content, exhibits, merchandise, Paisley Park events, branded products and more,” McMillan said in an email, per Billboard. “It is a historical and very exciting time. Prince is almost free to rest now…”