In re Estate of Prince

901 N.W.2d 234 (2017)

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In re Estate of Prince

Minnesota Court of Appeals
901 N.W.2d 234 (2017)

  • Written by Rose VanHofwegen, JD
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Facts

When Prince Rogers Nelson (decedent) died without a will, the court appointed his sister, Tyka Nelson, special administrator over his estate. Prince’s birth certificate listed John Nelson as his father, as John was married to Prince’s mother when Prince was born. Tyka identified herself and five other children descended from one or both of those two parents as Prince’s naturals heirs. But five other people came forward, claiming inheritance rights. The five claimants said John was not actually Prince’s biological father. Four were siblings who claimed their father had an affair with Prince’s mother and was his real father, while the unrelated fifth claimed it was actually her father who had done it. The purported half siblings asked the court to order genetic testing to establish who was biologically related to Prince. Tyka rejected the five purported half siblings’ claims on the ground that Minnesota’s paternity law established an unrebuttable presumption that John Nelson was Prince’s father because he was married to Prince’s mother when Prince was born. The court agreed and ordered distribution of Prince’s estate among the descendants of John Nelson or Prince’s mother. The five purported half siblings appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kalitowski, J.)

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