27Apr

If you have delayed writing or updated your will you are in good company. Despite his wealth and access to attorneys the singer Prince apparently did not have a Will when he died.
When you die without having a will in place your state will determine who inherits your wealth. It is called dying Intestate. Every state has laws governing intestate rules of inheritance to deal with the assets of someone who dies without a will.

In Georgia Determining who will inherit from someone who died without a will is set out in Code of Georgia Annotated §53-2-1:

“…when a decedent died without a will, the following rules shall determine such decedent’s heirs:

(1) Upon the death of an individual who is survived by a spouse but not by any child or other descendant, the spouse is the sole heir. If the decedent is also survived by any child or other descendant, the spouse shall share equally with the children, with the descendants of any deceased child taking that child’s share, per stirpes; provided, however, that the spouse’s portion shall not be less than a one-third share;
(2) If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, the heirs shall be those relatives, as provided in this Code section, who are in the nearest degree to the decedent in which there is any survivor;
(3) Children of the decedent are in the first degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the descendants of any deceased child taking, per stirpes, the share that child would have taken if in life;
(4) Parents of the decedent are in the second degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally;
(5) Siblings of the decedent are in the third degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the descendants of any deceased sibling taking, per stirpes, the share that sibling would have taken if in life; provided, however, that, subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no sibling survives the decedent, the nieces and nephews who survive the decedent shall take the estate in equal shares, with the descendants of any deceased niece or nephew taking, per stirpes, the share that niece or nephew would have taken if in life;
(6) Grandparents of the decedent are in the fourth degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally;
(7) Uncles and aunts of the decedent are in the fifth degree, and those who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally, with the children of any deceased uncle or aunt taking, per stirpes, the share that uncle or aunt would have taken if in life; provided, however, that, subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (f) of Code Section 53-1-20, if no uncle or aunt of the decedent survives the decedent, the first cousins who survive the decedent shall share the estate equally; and
(8) The more remote degrees of kinship shall be determined by counting the number of steps in the chain from the relative to the closest common ancestor of the relative and decedent and the number of steps in the chain from the common ancestor to the decedent. The sum of the steps in the two chains shall be the degree of kinship, and the surviving relatives with the lowest sum shall be in the nearest degree and shall share the estate equally.

In Prince’s case – when he died he did not have a spouse; he did not have any living children (of deceased children with living children); and both his parents were dead. So you need to continue to climb the higher branches of the family tree to his siblings. When he died, Prince had one sister and five half-siblings. Under the law, siblings and half-siblings are treated equally. Therefore, the six of them are entitled to inherit 1/6th of his estate each. That is regardless whether Prince liked them or even ever met them. Under the law everyone will receive the same 1/6th

I do not know how this is going to play out. The one thing I do know is that people tend to lose their sense of reason when there is a lot of money on the line. All of this could have been avoided if Prince took a few hours to have a will prepared. How about you??

Leave a Comment

Error: Please check your entries!