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Aftermath of Prince Nelson’s Death Highlights Heirship Disputes

All the people who claim to be Prince’s heirs must provide sworn testimony to support their claims, according to a Carver County, Minnesota district judge.

The judge’s order requires prospective heirs to file an affidavit that answers a number of personal questions and provide a birth certificate copy. The trust company handling the estate can then either approve the claim, deny it outright, or ask the putative claimant to submit to genetic testing. A number of people have come forward since the singer’s April 21 death, including the supposed daughter and granddaughter of Prince’s half-brother, a man who claims his mother and Prince had a one-night stand in 1976, and a 39-year-old incarcerated man who insists that he is the “sole surviving heir.”amazing-property

A final hearing is scheduled for the end of June.

Real Property Heirship Disputes

Most of the probate cases in New Hampshire and Massachusetts are not nearly as flashy as this one, but nearly all of them involve multiple heirs who have individual agendas. Every case is different, but when it comes to the deceased’s real property, there are usually three different categories:

  • Some beneficiaries want to keep the house, possibly because they are living in the house after being a caregiver or because they want to “keep it in the family.”
  • Other heirs want to sell but are rather particular about the sale parameters; for example, they do not want to sell to a developer who plans to raze the residence.
  • Finally, there are some beneficiaries who want to sell the house as quickly as possible to fully resolve the matter and move on.

These situations are even more complicated when one or more heirs live out-of-state but refuse to give a local person power of attorney over the situation.

Many times, selling inherited property is more of an emotional issue than a financial one, and though the above viewpoints are couched in financial terms, there is a decidedly emotional underpinning. This is where an experienced attorney makes a difference. Hypothetical heir number 2 does not object to the buyer’s intentions, but rather has a strong emotional attachment to the property. Something as simple as a photo album with historical pictures of the house may be a key factor in encouraging negotiation.

A qualified attorney can also arrange a more formal mediation session if the parties are either miles apart or just need a neutral third party to bring them together. The right attorney can help family members find common ground in real estate sales matters.

For more ideas on how to sell an inherited home, contact us today.

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