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Why Prince’s Heirs Are Still Waiting to See Money Nearly 2 Years After Singer’s Death

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Prince died from an accidental painkiller overdose on April 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

In the nearly two years since Prince’s death, his heirs have still not received any of the money owed to them while lawyers have earned millions.

The “Purple Rain” singer died without a will in April 2016 after a fatal opioid overdose and since then, six of his siblings have been waiting to get their share of his estate. the Associated Press reported Sunday, April 15 that Prince’s estate is estimated to be valued at $200 million. However, none of that can be split until the Internal Revenue Service and executor Comerica Bank and Trust agree about the estate’s value at the time of Prince’s death.

And when that may happen is unclear.

Despite the $200 million estimation, the actual value — hidden in sealed and redacted records — may be more or less since appraisals have not been completed. Regardless, the IRS and Minnesota are entitled to collect around half, with payments possibly being spread out over time.

Meanwhile, a band of lawyers and taxmen have earned $5.9 million in fees and expenses, according to a filing last month. That does not include a request for almost $2.9 million in fees and expenses for Comerica and its lawyers. Also excluded are expenses for the heirs’ lawyers, other attorneys, or charges for Troy Carter, a Spotify executive who is the estate’s main music advisor.

And amid division among Prince’s siblings — Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John R. Nelson, Tyka Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson — attorneys for the Nelsons (excluding Tyka) said, “there is legitimate concern that at the end of the Estate’s administration there will be little, if anything left to pass on to the Heirs.”

However, all six siblings put up a rare united front when they fought against an unspecified “entertainment transaction” in development that they claim would be “an embarrassment to Prince’s legacy.”

A hearing on the matter is set for Wednesday, April 18. There, a Comerica motion to approve a settlement will take place. While almost all of the specifics have been redacted, the AP reported the estate’s lawsuit against Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the Tidal streaming service over alleged copyright violations could be up for approval. Still, Sharon, Norrine and John oppose it on the grounds that the estate could win more in a trial.

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