Fans eager to hear the many unreleased recordings that Prince left behind might get their wishes granted sooner than they anticipated thanks to the estate tax.
Prince passed away with a lot of unreleased songs still in his vault. It would most likely be best for his estate to release that music slowly over time so the market is not flooded and steady interest in Prince's music can be maintained. However, according to the trustee overseeing the estate that might not be possible.
Because the musician did not have an estate plan it is anticipated that the combined federal and state estate tax bills will be half of the estate, which is approximately $125 million as People reports in "Taxes Could Wipe Out Half of Prince's $250 Million Estate and Force Early Sale of His Unreleased Songs, Trustee Says."
The trustee believes the estate will need to come up with the cash by Jan. 21, 2017 or be assessed fees and penalties. It is also possible that if the estate cannot meet the estate tax bill, then government entities could force a sale of estate assets.
To manage these problems the trustee is asking the court to allow him to negotiate contracts on behalf of the estate quicker than normal. The trustee is also asking the court to not allow the various paternity suits filed against the estate to interfere with or delay the process of raising the cash to pay the estate tax.
One likely result of this problem for the estate is that many of Prince's unreleased songs will be released to raise money. It is also possible the Prince's home, Paisley Park, could be sold.
Reference: People (June 8, 2016) "Taxes Could Wipe Out Half of Prince's $250 Million Estate and Force Early Sale of His Unreleased Songs, Trustee Says."