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Prince Estate Becomes More Complex in Identifying Heirs

State law may broaden definition of heirs to entertainer's estate.

The list of potential heirs to Prince's estate has been narrowed down considerably as the judge in the case has thrown out many claims. However, that does not mean the issue of who will inherit a share of his fortune is entirely settled.

While the long list of possible heirs to the fortune left behind by Prince has been reduced, it has been potentially expanded by the laws of Minnesota, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press in "In Prince estate case, blood relation might be unnecessary."

Due to a unique feature in Minnesota's family law it is possible the descendants of Duane Nelson could be declared to be related to Prince and receive a share of his estate even though Nelson is not a biological relative of Prince.

Under Minnesota law someone who is treated as a child can be legally declared a child even if they are not. Duane Nelson was previously thought to be Prince's half-brother through his father, but it now appears Nelson was not. Interestingly, Nelson's birth certificate lists Prince's father as his own.

If the judge decides that Nelson is related under the law, then Nelson's three children have a claim to a share in Prince's estate. The law itself gives little guidance for the judge to make a determination, so it is not clear how the court will rule.

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