Three of Prince’s six heirs have been denied a request for payment for time and services provided to estate officials.
Siblings Sharon, Norrine, and John Nelson were seeking a monthly sum of $20,000 (£16,000) to be split between the trio as compensation for the work they claim to have put in to help estate administrators at Comerica Bank sort through the late singer’s affairs.
According to U.S. court papers obtained by The Blast, they claimed Comerica bosses have yet to pay out any funds to the Purple Rain icon’s family, almost four years after his passing, despite spending $20 million (£16 million) on lawyers and advisors.
They alleged they were having to live “solely on their pension, social security, personal savings and loans from friends to cover the costs needed to support the Prince Estate despite the millions paid to advisors, attorneys and others approved by the Court”.
The documents continued, “Comerica, on behalf of the Estate, has simply used the Heirs efforts and desire to be helpful and informed as gratuitous labor, taking advantage of the Heirs time, advice, services and work provided without wages or compensation, unlike all others who have been excessively paid millions of dollars for their time (sic).”
However, Comerica representatives denied purposefully holding out on payment to Prince’s relatives, insisting they still had a lot more work to complete, including a big tax issue, before such distributions could be made.
The judge overseeing the dispute has since denied the claim, insisting he does not have the authority to order such payment when Comerica executives are dealing with federal authorities at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“The court is sympathetic to SNJ’s (siblings) frustrations at seeing virtually everyone affiliated with the Estate being paid for their services, while the Heirs are left waiting on final distributions,” the ruling reads.
“The Court lacks authority the (sic) grant SNJ’s Petition, because even if it had the authority to grant SNJ’s Petition, doing so would create an unlawful and unreasonable potential liability for the Personal Representative.”
The news emerges a week before the 21 April (20) anniversary of Prince’s death from an accidental drug overdose. The superstar, real name Prince Rogers Nelson, was just 57 when he died in 2016.