Prince’s estate allowed to begin handling his business affairs

Trust agreement could see start of unreleased music deals

Lawyers representing Prince’s estate have been given permission to start hiring music industry experts to manage his business affairs.

When Prince died in April, the fact he apparently didn’t leave a will made it hard for Bremer Trust, who administer his estate, to begin licencing deals for his music and image.

This was complicated by the fact that there is a dispute over Prince’s inheritance, which is being disputed by his sister Tyka Nelson, his six half-siblings and two men who both claim to be the singer’s sons.

But a judge has now ruled that Bremer Trust can begin appointing experts, over-ruling a potential heir who wanted any such deals to be delayed until Prince’s inheritance was resolved.

Minnesota state Judge Kevin Eide ruled that Bremer Trust has until November 2 to put deals in place for licencing Prince’s intellectual property. After that date, any deals made by Bremer Trust will be reviewed by whoever is agreed to be Prince’s heirs. The deals would also need further court approval beyond November 2.

Bremer Trust had argued that it was a matter of urgency that deals for matters such as Prince’s back catalogue and unreleased music are resolved, citing a large tax bill which Prince owed as a reason for the haste.

Prince’s intellectual property is estimated to be worth $300m, but half of that could be taken by state taxes because of his lack of a will.

Matters for the experts appointed by Bremer Trust to decide on would include a proposed tribute concert this summer at Prince’s Paisley Park home where he regularly played concerts.