A Minnesota judge on Thursday officially declared the heirs to Prince’s estate, the value of which has been estimated at more than $200 million.
The six heirs — his sister Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings: Omarr Baker, Alfred Jackson, John L. Nelson, Norrine Nelson and Sharon Nelson — have long been considered the presumed heirs, after a number of claimants were denied last year. The ruling begins a one-year process in which other would-be heirs can make their case to the judge.
“We are thrilled and relieved that Judge Eide granted our request to be the official heirs of our brother’s estate,” the siblings said in a statement. “Our ultimate goal is to remain a united front and honor his legacy together as a family and for his fans globally”
The filing also confirms that L. Londell McMillan, one of two former special music-industry advisers to the estate, will be the business adviser to three of the heirs: John, Norrine and Sharon Nelson. Tyka Nelson and Omarr Baker have been represented by attorney and CNN commentator Van Jones. A motion to quash a subpoena ordering McMillan to surrender certain documents was granted.
While the rulings lay to rest certain contested matters around Prince’s estate, many others remain. Other documents released Friday show that Universal Music Group and Comerica Bank, the manager of Prince’s estate, are moving ahead with plans to terminate the $31 million recorded-music deal announced earlier this year.
On Thursday Comerica Bank, the estate’s manager, filed a motion to approve rescission of the the agreement based on “claims of conflicting rights to sound recordings.” According to an announcement at the time, those recordings comprised most of Prince’s released work after he ended his initial deal with Warner Bros. in 1996 as well as unreleased material, but also rights to certain recordings within that initial Warner deal; Warner is disputing those terms and the motion states that Universal is insistent on a rescission of the agreement announced in February, claiming “Universal was defrauded by the Estate and its former representatives to enter into the License Agreement under false pretenses.”
The motion will be presented before Judge Kevin Eide on May 31.