Here's what we know about the status of Prince's estate

Prince's star at First Avenue, now gold
A star honoring Prince, painted gold, stands out on the wall, May 5, 2016, at a memorial for the singer at First Avenue in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone | AP file

When Prince died of a drug overdose a year ago, he left his personal affairs in disarray.

That has the music icon's family, lawyers, advisers and a judge in Chaska sorting through his artistic and financial legacy.

It's been a long, complicated process, and here's where things stand today.

Who will inherit Prince's estate?

Prince died without a will laying that out — despite the insistence of his ex-wife that he had planned for his estate.

That means the estate will probably go to Prince's sister, Tyka, and five half-siblings — Sharon, Norinne and John Nelson, Omarr Baker, and Alfred Jackson — who are asking a judge to quickly decide who inherits what. Carver County judge Kevin Eide has already said he is "reasonably certain" he'll determine the six known and surviving siblings to be the rightful heirs.

Others have made claims, including distant relatives and purported children of both Prince and his parents. Those have been all but excluded, and face a high legal hurdle under Minnesota law.

Court filings peg the value of Prince's estate at close to $200 million, based on fees paid to the estate's initial administrator.

Has the investigation into Prince's death yielded any answers?

A memorial outside Paisley Park
Music fans visit a memorial created outside Paisley Park, the home and studio of Prince, on April 23, 2016 in Chanhassen, Minn.
Scott Olson | Getty Images file

The Midwest Medical Examiner's office ruled last June that Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, which was likely "self administered."

There's no indication that investigators have tracked down the source of the drug, although search warrants unsealed earlier this week indicate that authorities are going through email and phone records, looking for clues.

Those court records also confirmed that Prince had suffered an overdose previously on a flight back from his final show in Atlanta, and that Prince's entourage reported multiple withdrawal episodes.

The court records also indicate that a Minnetonka doctor told investigators he'd prescribed Oxycodone to Prince under a friend's name to protect the pop icon's privacy. The doctor has since issued a statement denying that potentially illegal practice.

But there are no records of opioid prescriptions written for Prince in Minnesota's drug-tracking database, suggesting the stash of narcotics found by investigators in Paisley Park was likely illicit.

What's left for Prince's many fans?

Paisley Park is now a museum and will host a celebration of his life this weekend. It's run by the people who operate Graceland, who have shown a willingness to invest big time in musical legacies. They just opened a $137 million expansion of Elvis Presley's estate in Memphis.

Paisley Park may live on as a tribute for many decades.

As for his work: Prince issued 79 albums, starred in three feature-length movies and made many appearances on television and other places.

Dancing at First Avenue
Fans groove to Prince music during a memorial dance party at First Avenue Thursday, April 21, 2016, in Minneapolis.
Emmet Kowler for MPR file

Some of the albums are out of print, but Warner Brothers is planning at least one reissue.

Prince's brand and likeness may also be put to use for an endless bounty of advertising, streaming, merchandise, even Broadway shows and future films.

What about the storied vault under Paisley Park?

Warner Brothers and Universal Music Group have rights to Prince's music, including the reported trove of unreleased recordings.

Rolling Stone speculated on what might be there after talking to some of Prince's former staff — it includes albums and concert films dating back to 1982.

So far, however, only two unpublished songs have been released: "Moonbeam Levels," an addition to the Prince4Ever greatest hits album released in November, and "Deliverance," one of six from a 2006 recording, released without sanction from his estate and now the subject of a lawsuit.

Warner Brothers has indicated plans for two full albums of unreleased Prince material and has two full concert films in hand. Those and the "Purple Rain" re-issue are expected June 9.

There are indications, however, that the unreleased music may not be what music promoters had initially hoped. Variety magazine says Universal may be trying to back out of a music deal with Prince's estate.

Who is in charge now?

Since Prince died intestate, his affairs have been handled by a court-appointed "personal representative." That was initially Bremer Trust, which brought in entertainment lawyer L. Londell McMillan and music executive Charles Koppelman to guide what has become a methodical dismantling and parsing out of Prince's business operations.

Bremer stepped aside earlier this year and Prince's would-be heirs have squabbled over the estate's advisers, and divided over McMillan and CNN personality Van Jones.

The judge in the probate case has since selected Comerica to oversee the estate — which announced last week that Spotify executive Troy Carter, a former Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor manager, would be the entertainment adviser.

There isn't, however, any immediate indication of when the legal battles will be settled or how his heirs will ultimately decide to take on Prince's legacy. A court filing from earlier this month has a proposed trial date for September 2018 for one of the ongoing disputes involving the estate.

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