Six people filed legal challenges this week in hopes that they will be added to the list of heirs to Prince’s estate. The challenges will likely make the complex work of determining Prince’s heirs even more complicated and lengthy.
Prince died April 21 of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller. Because no will has been found, Minnesota law determines who will inherit his estate, estimated at $100 million to $300 million before taxes.
In July, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide dismissed the claims of more than two dozen people, narrowing the number of potential heirs to at least six and possibly two more, depending on the outcome of genetic testing.
At least four of those who were dismissed filed challenges this week with the state Court of Appeals, saying they shouldn’t have been excluded as Prince’s heirs.
“We feel the law that they used to exclude them was used in error,” said Cameron Parkhurst, a Minneapolis attorney.
The Court of Appeals likely won’t rule on the challenges until next year, Parkhurst said. “And then if someone appeals that to the Minnesota Supreme Court, some of those decisions can take even longer,” he said.
“The thing that can trump all of this is if a child of Prince Rogers Nelson shows up. And then the child gets everything,” Parkhurst said. At this point, that’s not likely to happen, he added.
In a separate filing this week in Carver County District Court, another potential heir, Corey D. Simmons, claimed that he is Prince’s nephew. Simmons said he is the son of the late Duane Nelson Sr., who some have said was Prince’s half-brother.