Having left no known will, the fate of Prince‘s estate will be up in the air for months – or years.
“There’s a lot of different ways that it could play out,” a source close to the situation tells PEOPLE. “Something could be filed in the next 10 minutes that may affect the case, so it’s really hard to say what’s next.”
While a judge ruled the music legend – who died April 21 at his Paisley Park compound – did not leave a will behind to distribute his reported $250 million in assets, his sister Tyka, five half-siblings and his bank, Bremer Trust, have set in motion steps to settle his estate.
A Minnesota-based financial institution, Bremer Trust was appointed the special administrator over Prince’s estate, while its employees and the parties involved in the case work toward a settlement.
“There’s a lot of attention being drawn to this case because it’s Prince, but so far this is a pretty routine probate case: The only exciting thing about it is that it’s Prince. If you look at it that way, these are just routine probate matters,” says the source. “That doesn’t mean that the parties aren’t going to disagree on certain points. What those are, we don’t know yet because they haven’t indicated as such. Some probate cases are very cut-and-dry and wrap up really quickly. Some of them can go on for years.”
With three weeks having passed since Prince died, the fight over his estate has just begun. While the family members were in agreement that Bremer Trust should oversee their brother’s estate, on Tuesday, a man currently incarcerated in Colorado filed a petition alleging he is Prince’s long-lost son and has a claim to the fortune.
Between paternity claims (a judge has ruled Prince’s blood will be tested for such questions) and possible objections in settling, the future of the star’s riches is far from being determined.
“The length of the case really depends on the agreement of all the parties,” says the source, who adds the more people that are involved, the “more difficult” settling may be. “All of the very specific claims now that all the parties in the case are planning to claim – Bremer Trust would be involved in that and they can object or other parties could object to certain claims – are due Sept. 12.
“At this point, we’re looking at something that’s probably going to last through the year, at least. It just depends on if everyone agrees with everyone’s claims. It could be done very quickly,” the source adds. “It’s just a lot of speculation at this point. Eventually all things will come to appear clear, but it is a slow process: That’s the bottom line.”