By Robyn Collins
Prince’s siblings have asked a judge not to name Brianna and Victoria Nelson as heirs to the late musician’s estate. The pair, which claim to be Prince’s niece and grandniece, were among six possible heirs left after a judge threw out 30 other claims to Prince’s estate in July.
Since the late pop star left no will, Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide has taken on the role of sorting out Prince’s estate, reports Rolling Stone.
Judge Eide has ruled that the Nelsons had presented enough of a case to be considered heirs and did not have to undergo genetic testing. But Prince’s siblings claim that there’s no genetic connection to tie Brianna and Victoria to Prince and also insist the relationship has no merit under Minnesota law. They argue that a parent-child relationship must be validated through genetics, adoption, assisted reproduction or an established presumption of parentage laws.
Brianna and Victoria have not claimed a genetic connection to Prince, but instead claim their relationship to him through Duane Nelson, Sr., who died in 2011 and was supposedly Prince’s half-brother. According to the women, both Prince and his biological father considered Duane a son and brother.
“If an heirship claim could rely on behavior alone as a basis, it would open the floodgates to individuals claiming they were treated ‘like a brother’ or ‘like a son,'” attorneys for Prince’s siblings wrote. They added that the Nelsons are asking the court “to casually sweep aside these well-established tenets of Minnesota law and instead seek to base their claim entirely on behavioral and anecdotal evidence.”
Minnesota law allows for some gray area when it comes to defining the parent-child relationship, including someone informally raising a non-biological child as their own, leaving it to a judge to decide whether Brianna and Victoria Nelson are rightful heirs. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Friday.
Prince died in April of a fatal drug overdose. Investigators are still looking into whether doctors illegally prescribed the icon opioids or whether the Fentanyl that killed him came from black market sources.