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Without A Will, It Could Take Years To Sort Prince’s Estate

By now, most of us have learned of the tragic passing of one of music’s greatest icons, Prince. The 57-year-old singer passed away in his Paisley Park estate in late April just days after he made an emergency landing in Illinois on his way back from his final concert in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sources estimate the singer, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was worth up to $300 million and this net worth may only increase as fans across the world feverishly purchase song from his extensive collection of music. While Prince may have passed away with the love and adornment of millions around the world, one thing the Academy Award winning artist did not have was a last will and testament.

Settling estates in probate courts can be complex even if the deceased was not a multi-Grammy winning singer like the star of the 1984 cult classic, Purple Rain. Without designated beneficiaries and an executor to a will, estates may take even more time to be sorted and may need to be divided up amongst heirs as defined by state law.

Who inherits estates when there is no will?

Who inherits an estate and how much in situations where the deceased left no will depends on the state’s probate laws where the deceased resided. In Virginia, after debts are settled and funeral costs covered, there is a designated course of descent to determine who inherits an estate.

  • Surviving spouse, unless there are children of someone other than the surviving spouse, in which case one-third goes to the surviving spouse and the remaining two-thirds is divided among all children;
  • If there is no surviving spouse, the estate passes to the children;
  • If there is no spouse or children, the estate passes to the deceased’s father and mother; and
  • If there is no spouse, children, or surviving parents, then all passes to the deceased’s brothers and sisters.

Who will get my estate when I pass away?

The answer to who will inherit one’s estate can be more easily defined if they take the time to catalogue their estate and name beneficiaries and an executor to deal with the dispersal of assets. The alternative to a will is a trust, which can transfer property to heirs and beneficiaries without taking the estate through probate courts.

Figuring out whether to implement a trust or a will is something an individual should do with the help of an experienced Leesburg estate planning attorney. Each option has benefits and drawbacks but having an attorney to guide one through the process can help sort out which fits best for the individual and their estate.

Leesburg Estate Planning Attorneys

If you are interested in planning for the future of your estate, contact the experienced Leesburg estate planning attorneys of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy, PC. Our attorneys regularly aid those looking to set up trusts and estates throughout Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County.

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Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC maintains an office in Loudoun County in the Town of Leesburg. We welcome inquiries from throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

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