LARGO (FOX 13) - The sister of Prince believes the late pop legend died without having a will. Now, she's asking the Minnesota courts to help manage his multi-million dollar estate.
Prince sang, "Money don't matter tonight. It sure didn't matter yesterday." But today, Prince's money does matter.
His sister Tyka Nelson doesn't believe he has a will. She's petitioning for a special administrator to oversee Prince's multi-million dollar estate, splitting it between her and his five other half-siblings. It's now in the courts' hands.
It could be a long, drawn out ordeal. An ordeal Bay Area attorney Attorney Joseph Pippen says can, and should, be easily avoided.
"It's a disaster for people who keep putting it off," Pippen says. "I think people put it off for a couple of reasons... They don't like dealing with dying. They don't like dealing with parting with their assets."
"You don't have to be rich to be my girl," Prince sang, and you don't have to be a millionaire to have a will. According to a 2015 Rocket Lawyer survey by Harris poll, 64-percent of Americans don't.
The good news is, if you don't have one, the State of Florida has already written a statutory will for you. The bad news is, they get to decide who in your family benefits.
"So, that means you would've worked your whole life, accumulated an estate, died, and then the state decides who gets your money, where it goes and who is going to be in charge of it," Pippen says.
It's not just about money. If you have young kids, it's also about custody. Bottom line: Pippen says anyone over 18 should have a will.
"It was very scary to think that we would die without having a will," explains Terryll Jones-Hayslett.
She and her husband Daryl just updated theirs. It's a piece of paper that brings a lot of peace of mind.
"We needed to protect our children equally and needed to protect our assets and didn't want a judge who didn't know us to make decisions for us," Jones-Hayslett says.
"Nobody should just put that off," Pippen says. "Because you never know. Prince, at 57, didn't think he was going to die that early."
Pippen says it's not a big ordeal to get your will done. A simple one might cost around $125 and be written in one visit.
Even simpler, you can prepare your own in Florida, as long as it's signed in the presence of two witnesses.
You don't have to get it notarized, but if you do decide to create a "self-proving" will, you will need to go to a notary. The benefit is, the court can accept the will without having to contact the witnesses and speed up the probate process.