As discussed in previous posts, it may complicate matters significantly if someone dies without leaving behind a will or trust. Therefore, Detroit residents may consider it a wise move to handle their estate planning well in advance. Having a clear and understandable will may protect the beneficiaries of an estate from the hassle and heartache of trying to sort out how to divide money, heirlooms, property and other assets after a loved one’s death.

Estate disputes can be particularly complex if they involve an especially sizeable estate. This is proving to be true with the assets left behind by the singer and musician Prince, who passed away in April. Because Prince did not have a will, a Minnesota judge appointed a financial institution to handle the late singer’s estate. Prince’s sister and five other close relatives are said to be working with the administrator to determine how to distribute the assets.

If an estate’s beneficiaries are willing to cooperate and compromise, the matters in question may be handled smoothly and quickly. However, three others have come forward to challenge their right to a portion of Prince’s estate. One man says he is Prince’s heir, while two women say they are due a sizeable amount for recording and production costs and other music-related business.

The final outcome of Prince’s estate remains to be seen. This unfortunate situation can serve as an example of why it is important to have a will or trust in place, so grieving loved ones do not have the additional burden of figuring out how to distribute what is left behind.

Source: People, “Two More Come Forward Claiming to Be Entitled to More Than $500,000 of Prince’s Fortune,” Jeff Nelson, May 12, 2016