And then there were six. Or maybe seven.
A Carver County judge has winnowed the group of heirs set to inherit Prince’s mammoth estate down to the sister and five half-siblings of the late musician.
In an order filed Wednesday, District Judge Kevin Eide excluded a woman and girl claiming to be heirs because they were descendants of a man whom Prince treated as a brother, but who apparently had no genetic connection to the musician.
Brianna Nelson and Victoria Nelson, descendants of the late Duane Nelson Sr., have no legal claim against the estate, Eide ruled.
Attorneys for the two had argued that they should be viewed as heirs because Prince’s father, John L. Nelson, had treated Duane Nelson as a son and Prince had referred to him as a brother.
Attorneys asked Eide for the opportunity to present evidence to that effect in court. At an Oct. 21 hearing, attorney Celiza Braganca said evidence would include John L. Nelson’s draft will, which she said listed Duane Nelson as an heir.
In his ruling, Eide wrote that evidence of a parent-child relationship without a genetic link just isn’t enough.
“There is no case law in Minnesota or, to the court’s knowledge, anywhere in the United States that establishes a parent-child relationship for intestacy purposes where there was a no genetic relationship but the parties to the relationship held themselves out to be parent and child,” he wrote.
The remaining heirs are Tyka Nelson, Prince’s only full sibling, and half-siblings Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson, Alfred Jackson and Omarr Baker.
One more potential heir — Corey Simmons, the purported son of Duane Nelson and Brianna’s half-brother — may still have a shot. According to Eide’s ruling, Simmons has until Nov. 25 to provide evidence supporting his claim that John L. Nelson intended to adopt Duane Nelson.
Prince died April 21 of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl. His estate has been valued between $100 million and $300 million before taxes, which are expected to take close to half.