Court Bonds

Rainy Days Continue For Prince’s Estate



When music legend Prince died unexpectedly in 2016, it took six years for relations and business associates to come to agreement over his assets and affairs. The plans, announced in 2022, would have allowed Prince’s legacy to live on, via new shows and previously unreleased songs. Sadly, further disagreement has led to more litigation. 


Back In Court

Essentially, the 2022 agreement, signed off on by a judge, arranged for two separate holding companies to manage the affairs of Prince’s $156 million estate, but now, conflict within one of the companies has led to a new legal battle:


The music legend’s heirs are now suddenly back in court again, fighting amongst each other over allegations that certain family members are trying to wrongfully seize control….The lawsuit…amounts to a civil war among the members of Prince Legacy LLC, one of the two holding companies created to run the star’s $156 million estate. (Primary Wave, which owns the other half of the estate, is not involved in the dispute.) The case was filed by L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer, two longtime Prince friends who serve as managers for Prince Legacy, over allegations that four of Prince’s family members have been improperly trying to force them out of the company. They say such a move not only violates the group’s operating agreement but would cause massive damage to efforts “to preserve and protect Prince’s legacy.”


Specifically, McMillan and Spicer have claimed that lack of experience and continued infighting among the Prince relations with shares in Prince Legacy LLC make these heirs “simply not capable of stepping in and managing its business.” Seeking an immediate injunction “to prevent any changes from taking place,” McMillan and Spicer are arguing that “changes would cause chaos within the company and jeopardize its relationships with third parties.” As the need for court room remedies to resolve conflicts continues to impede progress on ensuring Prince’s musical legacy lives on, estate planning experts remind all families of the importance of being organized and communicative about assets,intentions, and family run businesses:

Prince’s death was sudden and unexpected. Family businesses should have contingency plans in place for unexpected events, such as the death or incapacitation of key family members. This includes identifying successors and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership. Prince’s estate also highlighted the importance of preserving intellectual property rights as part of that legacy. Businesses should take steps to protect their intellectual property and ensure it is properly managed and licensed.

Prince’s lack of a will or clear instructions regarding the distribution of his assets led to prolonged legal battles. Family businesses should ensure they have a well-documented estate plan to avoid similar disputes. It’s also crucial for family businesses to have open and transparent communication about their intentions and plans for the business. Prince’s case highlighted how misunderstandings and lack of clarity can lead to legal conflicts. Regular family meetings and discussions about succession and ownership can help prevent future disputes.

Understanding Probate

Though settling the affairs celebrities who die without plans can become complex, the good news is that ordinarily, families do not have to worry about probate lingering over many years. Most states offer expedited processes depending upon the level of assets involved. Unpaid taxes, debts, conflicts among family members or contested wills are examples of issues that cause complexities and delays during probate, and even result in probate litigation. Barring these snags, the probate process ordinarily takes a few months to a year. Fundamentals of probate, include:       



  • proving in court that a deceased person’s will is valid (usually a routine matter);
  • identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property;
  • having the property appraised;
  • paying debts and taxes, and;
  • distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there’s no will) directs.



Courts frequently require the representative appointed to handle the affairs of the deceased to obtain a probate bond. The purpose of a probate bond is to guarantee that debts and assets will be properly handled in accordance with state laws and protocols. A probate bond is a type of fiduciary bond, and is sometimes alternatively referred to as an estate, executor, personal representative or administrator bond. 


Colonial Surety Company makes it quick and easy to obtain probate bonds of all kinds. A user-friendly online service allows you to quote and obtain a bond that is instantly available to download or e-file with the probate court. Fiduciaries in every state can efficiently obtain their bonds here:


Easy and Speedy Probate Bonds


Probate attorneys can help clients secure court and fiduciary bonds with a few clicks on The Partnership Account® for Attorneys. Just select the bond needed, send it to your client for payment, and then download, e-file or print the bond. 

Our fiduciary bonds include: administrator, estate, executor, guardian, personal representative, probate, surrogate, trustee, conservator and the list goes on. Court bonds include: appeal, supersedeas, injunction, replevin, receiver and more. 

Colonial Surety is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA. Our customers have awarded us a 4.8 Trustpilot score.Whenever and wherever you need a bond, trust Colonial: