Reisinger Booth & Associates, P.C., L.L.O.

Father-like relationship not enough for heirship in Prince case

If you've been following the Prince estate case at all, you know that many possible heirs came forward to seek their share of the estate. For months, the estate and courts have been mired in DNA tests and other claims from potential heirs, but the court has turned away far more heirs than it has confirmed. The latest group of potential heirs tried to stake a claim based on one man's relationship with Prince's father.

According to reports, family members of the man are saying that while he was not the biological son of Prince's father, he had a father-son relationship with the pop star's dad. They are arguing that the intent was there for Prince's father to treat the man like a son, and so he should be considered Prince's half-brother. A judge in the case dismissed the claim of two women who made this argument, saying their claim of heirship was not supported by state law.

Another man came forward claiming to be the son of the man in question. First, he claimed he was the unknown son of this man who Prince's father loved like a son. Second, he is claiming that Prince's father had every intention of adopting the man who was "like Prince's half-brother." The judge didn't dismiss this claim out of hand but instead required that the man produce some evidence of the intent to adopt.

These are just the latest claims to heirship in what has become a very complex case due in part to the fact that Prince didn't leave a will. While most people won't deal with the number of claims generated by a rich pop star's estate, the case provides a valuable illustration. Working with an estate lawyer ahead of time to create a will and ensure all your heirs are appropriately identified can save everyone a lot of worry and stress in the future.

Source: USA Today, "Prince estate judge rejects claims from would-be heirs," Oct. 26, 2016

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