Court order narrows down Prince's potential heirs in estate fight
30 claimants ruled out, judge orders genetic testing for 6 other alleged family members
A Minnesota judge overseeing Prince's estate narrowed down the wide pool of potential heirs for the late superstar's fortune on Friday, ruling out nearly 30 claimants while ordering genetic testing for six purported family members.
Carver County Judge Kevin Eide's order requires genetic testing for Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, plus three half-siblings: Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John Nelson. Ken Abdo, the lawyer for the three half-siblings declined to comment. Tyka Nelson's attorney did not immediately return a voicemail.
Eide also ordered testing for Brianna Nelson, who has claimed to be Prince's niece, and possible grand-niece Victoria Nelson. The pair has claimed Briana Nelson's father was Prince's half-brother. Their lawyer, Andrew Stoltman, declined to comment.
It's unclear why the judge did not order testing for Omar Baker or Alfred Jackson, two men who were listed as half-brothers in the original petition for the court to name a special administrator to the estate, but Eide's order includes a note that the court "is not aware of any objection or dispute" that all six siblings or half-siblings are legitimate heirs.
Jackson's lawyer, Justin Bruntjen, declined to comment. An attorney for Baker could not be immediately reached.
Prince died April 21 of a drug overdose. The process of determining his heirs and parceling out his estate has fallen to the courts because he had no known children and left no will. A DNA test has already ruled out a Colorado prison inmate who claimed to be Prince's son.
Among those excluded from potential heirship in Eide's order are five unidentified people with shaky claims that Prince was their biological father. For example, one woman who said she was adopted claimed Prince was her father because "based upon the general description of the lifestyle of her biological parents, her fascination with the Decedent and physical similarities."
Barring any others who could come forward claiming ties, Eide's order drastically limits who may benefit from Prince's fortunes — an estimated $300 million or more — or gain control of his legacy.
The four Prince siblings or half-siblings ordered to undergo genetic testing all claim John L. Nelson as their father.
Susan Link, head of estate planning for Minneapolis-based Maslon, said the judge may have ordered them tested because of the claimants who said John L. Nelson wasn't actually Prince's father — even though he threw out those claims.
The two that don't need to be tested — Baker and Jackson — claim relation to Prince through a common mother, Mattie Shaw, but different fathers.