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Heirs aren't the only ones battling over Prince estate

The Prince estate case brings together numerous matters related to both business and estate law. You might have seen the reports that the star passed away without a will, leaving the court with a lot of legwork to do in making certain decisions about probate. One of the first things the court did was to appoint a temporary estate administrator. It chose a company with experience in the industry to handle this task.

Meanwhile, the court started sorting through heirship matters, and it's still doing so. While dozens of heirs try to stake a claim to Prince's estate, there's a separate battle going on with regard to the pop artist's music-related assets. Several companies have entered their names to bid on rights to Prince's various music assets, and the estate administrator has started making choices.

One of those choices is to agree to a contract with Universal Music Group. The group has paid a sum of money that has not been disclosed; in exchange, it will take charge of the publishing rights related to Prince's catalog of songs. A spokesperson for the group has said it is humbled and excited to take on this responsibility, and it wants to work with the estate to determine how best to keep music available to Prince's fans.

The deal with Universal Music Group is for publishing, but licensing rights are still on the table for many songs. Warner Music Group does have rights to the artist's greatest hits collection and a reissue of the soundtrack for Purple Rain.

While most of our readers don't have an extensive and infamous song collection in their estate, every family and every person has something that is worth value to them. Whether you're looking at business and brand assets or family heirlooms, estate planning helps you protect your legacy and your heirs.

Source: Essence, "Prince's Estate Inks Exclusive Publishing Deal With Universal," Sydney Scott, Nov. 03, 2016

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