*A suburban Minneapolis judge has appointed Comerica Bank & Trust N.A. to replace Bremer Trust as the permanent administrator of Prince’s multimillion-dollar estate, while also ruling against entertainment lawyer L. Londell McMillan or CNN commentator Anthony “Van” Jones ever serving as the estate’s co-personal representatives.
Judge Kevin Eide of the Carver County District Court, who is overseeing the estate’s probate proceedings, rejected petitions on behalf of both former Prince associates, saying that an individual representative would not be necessary for the successful administration of the late singer’s assets, reports Billboard.
The estate’s six likely heirs were unanimous in supporting Comerica, which is scheduled to replace Bremer Trust on Feb. 1.
The heirs were also in agreement that an individual personal representative was needed as a go-between between themselves and the bank, citing communication difficulties with Bremer over the course of the past nine months. But according to Billboard, the heirs were divided over who that co-personal representative should be.
Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, and his half-brother, Omarr Baker, wanted Jones for the position, because he advised Prince on his philanthropic efforts and assisted with a 2014 Warner Bros. deal that allowed Prince to obtain some control of his catalog with the label.
However, Prince’s four step-siblings wanted McMillan, citing his assistance in helping Prince get out of his initial Warner Bros. deal in the ‘90s, and helping to negotiate a number of deals for Prince’s music on behalf of the estate in recent months, including publishing, licensing, performing rights and a new arrangement with Warner Bros. to issue unreleased material. A comprehensive deal with major streaming services is also expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Each camp of potential heirs had fiercely opposed the other’s candidate. Sharon, Norrine and John Nelson were concerned that Jones is currently serving as one of the attorneys for Baker and Tyka Nelson, and also that he lacks what they refer to in court documents as “experience negotiating or administering music contracts.” Attorneys for Nelson and Baker not only question McMillan’s “current contractual and personal relationship” with their step-siblings, according to court filings, but with the fact that “We’ve had a lack of disclosure from Mr. McMillan about his ongoing financial interest in the estate’s music deals,” Baker’s attorney Steven H. Silton told the court.
Judge Eide expressed confidence that Comerica could communicate effectively with the potential heirs, since the new bank would not have to deal with the “mayhem” and “disarray” Bremer had experienced immediately after Prince’s death.