Prince’s sister has confirmed he is not thought to have left behind a will following his sudden death, as she filed court documents this week.
Tyka Nelson has asked for a special administrator to be appointed to oversee the musician’s estate after his body was found at his Paisley Park home near Minneapolis on Thursday.
In the paperwork, Ms Nelson, Prince’s only full sibling, writes: “I do not know of the existence of a will and have no reason to believe that the decedent executed testamentary documents in any form.”
Ms Nelson lists herself and five other half-siblings, John, Norrine, Sharon, Alfred and Omar, as potential heirs to Prince’s fortune. The Purple Rain star’s half-sister Lorna, who died in 2006, is also listed as an interested person.
The documents, filed to the Carver County probate court in Minnesota, state that an “emergency exists” because “immediate action and decisions need to be made to continue the ongoing management and supervision” of Prince’s business interests.
Ms Nelson has asked that Bremer Trust, a corporate trust company, be named administrator because its affiliate, Bremer Bank, has knowledge of Prince’s “personal financial and business financial affairs”.
The size of Prince’s fortune is unclear, although he made hundreds of millions of dollars for record companies, concert venues and others during his career, and his estate included about 27 million US dollars (£18.5 million) in property.
Prince’s first manager has previously voiced concerns that the star’s sister – a reformed drug addict – is not “business savvy” enough to handle the rights to her brother’s vast music catalogue.
Owen Husney told the Press Association: “I’m sure Tyka is a great person. I would be remiss to think she has the music business savvy to be able to handle a body of work that’s got to be worth 250 to 500 million dollars (£222-444 million).
“Prince’s music has never really appeared in commercials. God forbid someone gets hold of this thing and it winds up in some toothpaste commercial.
“I pray that he has left it in good hands with people who know what they’re doing.”
Ms Nelson, 55, discussed her past drug problems in 2003 when she revealed she had sold her body for “food, money and Pampers”.
Under Minnesota law, a person can file a will with a probate court in secret. If Prince’s will does exist, it would become public once a death certificate is filed but the medical examiner has not yet issued one for the singer.
His post-mortem earnings will match top-earning dead celebrities like Elvis Presley, whose estate made 55 million dollars (£37 million) in 2015, according to Forbes magazine.
Police are continuing to investigate whether foul play was involved in Prince’s death after authorities said they had “no reason to believe” he killed himself and there were “no obvious signs of trauma” on his body.
The 57-year-old was found collapsed in a lift by staff members on Thursday morning, more than 12 hours after he was last seen alive when he was dropped off at Paisley Park. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Prince’s brother-in-law Maurice Phillips reportedly claimed the musician “worked 154 hours straight” before his death.
His body has been cremated and the “final storage” of his remains will be private, his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure has said. A cause of death may not be released for several weeks.
Prince was rushed to hospital six days before his death when his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois. Celebrity news website TMZ reported that he had overdosed on a painkiller called Percocet at the time.
Staff at his local record store, Electric Fetus, which he visited a day after the incident, said he appeared “pale” and “weak” and did not look “in the best shape”.
Prince’s family have spoken of plans to turn Paisley Park into a museum, while Denny Laufenburger, the mayor of Chanhassen – the city where the star lived – said discussions were taking place to stage a public service in his honour.
A private funeral service at a local church is expected to take place in early May, Mr Laufenburger added.