The six-year battle over Prince’s estate may finally be reaching its end following an agreement between parties that the late singer’s estate is worth $156 million.
According to the Star Tribune, Comerica Bank & Trust — the estate’s administrator — and the IRS revealed the valuation at a hearing Friday, a figure that encompasses both Prince’s real estate holdings and the value of his catalog and legendary vault of unreleased recordings.
The valuation was also agreed upon by lawyers of six of Prince’s heirs, two of whom have died during the lengthy estate battle that has languished in courts since his death in 2016; Prince did not have a will at the time of his death.
The valuation comes six months after three of Prince’s heirs (including the family of half-brother Alfred Jackson, an heir who died in 2019) reached deals with the independent music publisher and talent management company Primary Wave to sell their stakes in their brother’s estate, a deal that included a portion of Prince’s royalties from his masters, his writer’s share, name and likeness, and Paisley Park property; Prince’s three oldest heirs — including half-brother John Nelson, who died in September 2021, and two half-siblings in their 80s — opted not to partake in the agreement, which left Primary Wave with the single largest stake (but not a majority stake) in the Prince estate with 42 percent.
With a $156 million valuation in place — Comerica previously gave the estate an $82.3 million appraisal, while the IRS estimated it was worth $163.2 million in 2020 — the estate will be split among Primary Wave and the three oldest heirs (or their families) as soon as February. Prince’s lawyer L. Londell McMillan, who now represents the three oldest heirs, said at Friday’s hearing, “It has been a long six years.”
McMillan previously said after half of Prince’s heirs made the Primary Wave deal, “No matter what, we are going to fight to preserve the legacy of Prince. We would like to bring the purple back and actually do things the way Prince did,” while adding in a statement, “We will work with Primary Wave and any other party that holds interest in the estate.”