As family and alleged heirs work to sort out the finances of the late singer, the death of artist Prince is the push behind a new piece of legislation in the state of Minnesota.
The Purple Rain singer was found dead in his Chanhassen, Minnesota home on April 21st and his remaining siblings have since pleaded to the court that he has left no will in his absence. Not only does this mean that the $300 million Prince left behind is now in a sort of legal limbo, but it also has created concern, when it comes to protection of his name, image and music. However, a new lawmaker-backed proposal is hoping to help offer protection to the rights and properties of citizens, even in the post-mortem.
In the wake of Prince's passing, the Minnesota state legislature has drafted a brand new piece of legislation to tackle this issue. The Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act (also known as the P.R.I.N.C.E. Act), if passed, would ensure that the name, voice, image and more of a deceased individual would be protected for at least 50 years after their passing.
The lawmakers behind the bill are hoping it will find fast legs, maintaining ambitions that the P.R.I.N.C.E. Act will see passage before the current legislative session ends in just a few weeks. In honor of the law's namesake, it would also apply retroactively to any resident of the state of Minnesota who passed away before the bill was signed into law.
The issue is a sensitive one, particularly in the case of Minnesota's most famous fated singer. So far, both Prince's family and the current head of his estate have been unable to find a will or trust left behind.
The singer's sister, Tyka Nelson, has spearheaded a Minnesota probate court case to determine what will become of all her brother has left behind. In court filings, Nelson lists her and Prince's five half-siblings as heirs to his estate.
Additionally, as news of the financial faux paux spreads, multiple people have come forward claiming they are related to the singer, including a Colorado prisoner named Carlin Williams, who claims he is the result of a 1976 one night stand between his mother and Prince.
Bremer Trust, the current court-appointed handler of Prince's estate, has since been charged with overseeing the distribution of the late singer's wealth amongst remaining family. Additionally, the trust has been asked by a Minnesota judge to make Prince's DNA available for those seeking to prove their relation to the singer.
Known for championing the rights of singers, Prince took part in very public protests of several record labels and often spoke out on artist ownership. As a result, Prince's music was often kept out of many movies, television shows and commercials.
Additionally, it was announced the singer had signed an exclusive deal with music streaming service Tidal, a move that saw a purging of much of Prince's music from the Internet.
However, since Prince's death, his estate, under control of Bremer Trust, has given permission for the use of his music on ABC television shows Scandal and Grey's Anatomy.
Neither the singer's estate nor his family have made a public comment on whether the singer's vault of exclusive, unreleased music will be released.