The line to join Prince's family starts to the right.
The rock icon's death has left many with a profound sense of loss, but some are claiming to be more affected than others. An estimated 700 people have come forward to claim that they are the late music legend's sibling, making them heirs to his unclaimed fortune, which has been estimated to be worth near the $1 billion mark.
A Minnesota Judge ruled on Friday to allow samples of Prince's blood to be used for many who step forward claiming to have a genetic relation to the singer — either as his sibling or his child.
According to documents, the court recognizes that "parentage issues might arise and that timing can be seen of concern when conducting genetic testing.” Judge Kevin W. Eide signed off on the order, authorizing the current administrator of Prince’s estate, Bremer Trust, to “take all reasonable and necessary actions to analyze the decedent’s blood sample, including but not limited to conducting genetic testing of decedent’s blood.”
As for the 700 individuals who are claiming to be related to the late star, not many seem to be legit. "Our phone has been ringing off the hook, I would say we have received between 600 and 700 calls," Harvey Morse, who is leading the search for surviving relatives, said. "But 99.99 percent of the claims we can discount from the first phone call."
This drama is mostly a result of the fact that Prince died without a valid will. Meaning that he did not bestow any assets, or his $300 million in assets upon anyone.
Prince does have one full sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings, and they have decided that they will allow Bremer Trust to continue to manage their late brother's assets. In the end, it is likely that the six siblings will split the fortune, which could balloon in worth when factoring in after-death sales of Prince's albums, films, and memorabilia.
Prince also has two living ex-wives, but no children. Prince's only child, Boy Gregory, tragically died at one week old after being born prematurely.
Morse likened the experience to what happened after Bob Marley passed away, also without a will. "He died 35 years ago and settlement of his estate is still ongoing," he said. "The lesson to wake from all this is, 'Make a will.'" He concluded, "But lots of people don't, either because they think they're immortal, they don't want to think about death or they put it off, saying they will do it tomorrow, but the truck comes down the road today."
Catch up on how Prince is topping music charts once again with BET Breaks, above.
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)