MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A judge is now deciding who will have control over Prince’s music.
A Carver County judge heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys representing Bremer Trust, who is handling his estate, and those claiming to be related to Prince. Cameras were not allowed in courtroom, but WCCO was there.READ MORE: 'Really Disgusting And Elaborate': Alleged Sex Competition Prompts Protest, Investigation At Minnesota College
Even though weeks have passed since Prince passed away in Carver County, his legacy lives on, and so does his brand. But the music that has soothed so many through the years is now the source of legal tension.
“I would say if zero is the easiest case you could have, and 10 is the most challenging, this is on the order of 9 or 10,” said outside attorney Jim Conway said.
He says Tuesday’s legal proceedings are a mere step in this tangled process.
“Most probate proceedings are not as much in court as this one is, but most people, or a lot of people, die with a will,” Conway said.
Attorney Doug Peterson for Bremer Trust asked a judge for permission Tuesday to hire outside help; industry experts to manage Prince’s music, royalties and entertainment opportunities they say are popping up around every corner. And they want that help before the official tribute for Prince is held this summer.
Bremer Trust also wants outside tax experts, since it is expected that about 47 percent of the estate could be owed to the IRS.READ MORE: Mohamed Noor Resentenced To 57 Months For Manslaughter In Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s Shooting Death
Prince’s siblings were not in court Tuesday, unlike in earlier hearings. And attorneys for some of them objected, saying that would give Bremer Trust too much control of the powerful estate that the world is watching.
There were about a dozen attorneys involved in Tuesday’s hearing, and Patrick Cousins was perhaps the most vocal one. He represents Carlin Q. Williams, a man claiming to be Prince’s son.
He says he objects because he believes his client is the clear heir, and DNA will prove that in a matter of weeks.
The judge says he is still gathering paperwork and will issue a decision by 9 a.m. Thursday.
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