Prince probably never thought of himself as a public employee, but it turns out that the main beneficiary of his decades of hard work will be the government. The Heritage Foundation’s Rachel Greszler explains:
Although Prince has one full sister and five half-siblings, Prince’s family members will not be his biggest heirs.
Both the federal government and Minnesota’s state government will assess so-called “death taxes” or estate taxes on Prince’s assets, taking away more than half his estate. Between his physical assets—cash, investments, home, etc.—and his future royalties, Prince’s estate has been estimated to be between $300 and $500 million. …
The combination of Minnesota’s top death tax rate of 16 percent, plus the federal government’s 40 percent rate, means that over 50 percent of Prince’s estate will go to the government.
Prince left no surviving offspring, so perhaps he wouldn’t have cared much. As Ms. Greszler points out, however, many small business owners are not so lucky. Also, note Minnesota’s absurd estate tax rate of 16%. The estate tax, which kicks in at just $1.6 million, is one reason why so many are leaving the state.