Taxes on Prince's Estate Could Be Half Cash Value, Says Trustee

Assets may have to be sold to pay the bill.

ByABC News
June 8, 2016, 6:20 PM

— -- Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide ruled today that Bremer Trust, the special administrator appointed for Prince's estate, may employ "entertainment industry experts "to advise and assist" the administrator in its duties, which the court acknowledges will include taking " all prudent steps to monetize" the late singer's intellectual property and raising "funds necessary for the administration of the Estate and for the payment of estate taxes". This, after lawyers for Bremer Trust argued Tuesday that taxes on the estate, which has been valued at approximately $300 million, could be more than half its cash value.

"There are [business-related] decisions which need to be made promptly on behalf of the Estate and the Special Administrator needs the advice of industry experts to make these decisions in a prudent manner," the order states. However, it specifies that the trustee still needs to act in the best interest of the potential heirs.

The ruling comes just one day after lawyers representing the appointed trustee for the estate asked Eide for this authority.

A motion earlier this month from one of the individuals claiming to be Prince's heir had asked the court to wait for any business-related moves until it is determined who are the rightful heirs. Multiple people have come forward claiming to be the heirs to some of Prince's fortune in the wake of his death. A probate hearing on this issue is already set for June 27.

In court Tuesday, lawyers for the appointed Bremer Trust requested the expedited authority because they say that without a known will to help minimize tax liability, taxes will be due early next year on the estate upwards of half its cash value, which could be more than what Prince had in liquid assets at the time of his death on April 21.

Hiring the experts is the best way to capitalize on the opportunities that have come up since Prince's death and, in turn, ensure the estate can cover that bill, Bremer Trust lawyers argued. Lawyers said federal and state taxes are due by Jan. 21, 2017.

If there aren't enough liquid assets to pay those taxes, valuable memorabilia and unreleased songs may have to be sold to pay the bill, according to lawyers for Bremer Trust.

Lawyers for Carlin Williams, a Colorado inmate claiming to be Prince's son, responded Tuesday in court, asking the judge to hold off on letting Bremer or anyone else make any kind of business arrangements until the questions over Prince's heirs have been settled legally.

Williams filed paperwork in Minnesota probate court last month, requesting DNA testing to prove he's Prince's son. Bremer Trust was authorized to use Prince's blood to run such tests.

Williams' lawyers argued that Bremer's administration proposal goes beyond the scope of a special administrator, and that the heirs should be established first so they can weigh in on these types of decisions.

Williams is currently serving time in federal prison in Colorado for weapons transport, according to documents obtained by ABC News.

More than a month after Prince was found dead in his home in Paisley Park, a medical examiner confirmed last week that the icon died from an accidental opioid overdose.