Prince had always been a strong leader for Black ownership.
Especially when it came to his likeness and music. Sadly, that ideology may be coming to a close for him.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has reported that the Internal Revenue Service and Comerica Bank & Trust, the Prince Estate’s administrator, have reached an agreement on the total value of Prince’s assets. Prior to current events, it was suspected that the total value of Prince’s assets was over $100 million. The IRS then pressed Comerica about the potential value of Prince’s assets, which Comerica gave them an undervalued number. Comerica told the IRS $82.3 million was the exact number of value.
The IRS took matters into their own hands and believed the value was $163.2 million. Comerica and the Prince Estate were hit with a $6.4 million fine for poor accuracy of evaluation. Comerica and the estate then hit the IRS with a lawsuit in U.S. Tax Court. They believed the IRS’s evaluation is riddled with errors. A tax trial was set for a March battle, but a settlement has been agreed on and the court date was scrapped. Last summer the two parties agreed on the real value of Prince’s estate at $33 million.
How does the value go from darn near $100 million to $33 million? That answer certainly lies within the settlement.
Music legend Prince died in April 2016 due to a fentanyl overdose. He did not have a will prepared prior to his death. The estate was originally managed by Prince’s oldest siblings after a court ruling allowed them to be heirs. The six siblings weren’t able to acquire any piece of the pie until this ruling, and they decided it was best to partner with New York music company Primary Wave.
Primary Wave is an independent music publisher that has acquired the catalogs of James Brown, Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston. The estate will probably be divided between Primary Wave and Prince’s three oldest heirs to the family. Primary Wave bought out all or most of the interests of Prince’s three youngest siblings.
The full IRS settlement likely prompted the probate court to schedule a February hearing on the final distribution of the Prince estate. We’ll see in February what happens with the many factors within Prince’s legacy. We could only hope it serves in some resemblance of the legend’s intentions.