Purported niece, others seek shares of Prince’s estate

Published 2:59 pm Saturday, October 22, 2016

CHASKA — A Minnesota judge said Friday he’ll try to rule quickly on whether state law entitles a purported niece, grandniece and nephew of Prince to press their claims to shares in the late rock superstar’s estate.

Attorneys for Prince’s siblings said at a hearing that the purported family members’ claims should be rejected because they’re not Prince’s blood relatives, which they argued is required under a 2010 rewrite of the state’s probate code. But lawyers for the would-be heirs cited a 2003 Minnesota Supreme Court decision, which they said is still valid, in arguing they don’t need a genetic link.

Carver County Judge Kevin Eide is expected to declare that Prince’s sister and five half-siblings are legal heirs to his estate, which is worth an estimated $100 million to $300 million. But he first must decide whether purported niece Brianna Nelson, her niece, Victoria Nelson, and purported nephew Corey Simmons count as heirs.

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If Eide rules that Minnesota law supports their claims, he’ll hold hearings next month on whether the three can prove enough facts about their relationships to Prince to qualify as heirs.

The three claim descent from the late Duane Nelson Sr., who they say was a half brother to Prince. Case filings indicate Prince’s late father, John L. Nelson, was not Duane’s biological father, but the three say John raised Duane as his son and Prince considered Duane his half brother.

Prince accidentally overdosed on painkillers in April.