Two more people file claims to Prince's estate

The late US musician Prince performing at the Hop Farm Festival near Paddock Wood, southern England Jul 3, 2011.
The late US musician Prince performing at the Hop Farm Festival near Paddock Wood, southern England Jul 3, 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Two more individuals claiming to be relatives of the late pop star Prince came forward on Wednesday to seek a piece of the musician's estate.

Lawyers for Ms Brianna Nelson, 31, identified as a niece of Prince, and an 11-year-old girl identified as his grandniece and her initials "V.N." in court documents, filed papers in Minnesota probate court asserting that they are among his heirs.

Both claim to be surviving descendants of Prince - born Prince Rogers Nelson - as daughter and granddaughter to his late half-brother, Mr Duane Nelson Sr., who once headed Prince's security detail and died in 2011.

Their court motion states that Mr Duane Nelson Sr., was omitted from a list of six siblings and half-siblings documented in the original probate petition filed by Prince's sister, Ms Tyka Nelson, in late April.

If Prince left no will and no surviving offspring of his own, as Ms Nelson has claimed, then his estate under Minnesota law would be apportioned in equal shares to his siblings and the nearest surviving descendents of any siblings now dead, according to the filing. Siblings, half-siblings and their descendants are treated the same, it said.

Since Mr Duane Nelson Sr. is dead, his inheritance would pass to his two children, Ms Brianna Nelson and Mr Duane Nelson Jr. But because Mr Duane Nelson Jr. died in 2005, his share would pass to his lone surviving child, the 11-year-old V.N., the court motion said.

That line of succession has already been cast into doubt by a Prince paternity claim brought by a federal prison inmate in Colorado last week attesting that he is the musician's biological son.

The claimant, Carlin Q. Williams, 39, asserts he was sired by Prince during a tryst his mother had with the singer in a Kansas City hotel room in 1976. He has sought a court order for genetic testing of DNA samples obtained from the late music star and a comparison with his own.

Questions about Prince's estate have loomed since he was found dead at age 57 at his Minnesota home and studio complex in April.

The value of his music catalogue - potential licensing fees, royalties and sales from more than 30 albums he produced during his lifetime and a purported vault of unreleased material - has been estimated at more than US$500 million.