BY IYABO AINA
It is no longer news that the mother of legendary rapper, Tupac Shakur has passed away at the age of 69, as reports have it that Afeni Shakur’s death was confirmed on the morning of May 3 in a tweet from the Marin County Sheriff’s Department in California.
What seems to be news are controversial reports of who will have control of his lucrative estate, music and money which he left in the hands of his mother, Afeni Shakur, after his death in 1996.
But a new report claims to have the answers which is whether Afeni’s husband, North Carolina minister, Gust Davis, will take over, not minding the controversial divorce battle surrounding his late son’s estate, as his wife’s death could spark an even more complicated dispute.
Shakur, whose net worth is listed at more than $50 million, had been the arbiter of her son’s estate, which reportedly reaps almost $1 million annually and had been paying her more than $20,000 a month.
On March 18, 2016, Shakur filed for divorce from her husband of 12 years, North Carolina minister Gust Davis. The couple, who previously lived in that state, did not have a prenuptial agreement, and in divorce proceedings, Davis requested alimony payments totalling about half of the money generated by the estate, in addition to other assets purchased by the couple.
The divorce was not reported to have been settled at the time of Shakur’s death.
Now the question becomes who will maintain control of Tupac Shakur’s estate if Afeni Shakur did not have a will?
North Carolina law states that in the absence of a will, the spouse of the decedent inherits control of all assets. But the status of Shakur and Davis’ divorce was not immediately clear at the time of her death, nor was it clear how it could affect Davis’ legal standing in regard to the estate.
That decision will likely involve the courts, which have wide discretion in these matters in the state of North Carolina. However, Shakur’s daughter (and Tupac’s sister), Sekyiwa Shakur, could further complicate the situation.
As if Davis is deemed not to be the legitimate executor of Shakur’s estate as a result of his divorce proceedings, those assets could fall to Sekyiwa Shakur.
In either case, a legal battle could easily erupt between the pair. It may also be possible that a judge could deem Davis to be entitled to half the estate via alimony payments as requested, while still making Sekyiwa Shakur the sole executor.
Without a will, the complicated situation will almost certainly require a judge to determine the fate of the legendary rapper’s fortune.