The death of Afeni Shakur, the mother of the late iconic rapper Tupac Shakur, amid a contentious divorce battle surrounding her late son’s estate 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 totaling 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 Monday night.
Shakur died in Northern California at 69, according to local authorities. The official cause of her death has not yet been announced, but law enforcement responded to a call regarding a possible cardiac arrest at Shakur’s home in Sausalito on Monday night. She was pronounced dead at 10:28 p.m. PDT.
Now the question becomes who will maintain control of Tupac Shakur’s estate if Afeni Shakur did not leave a will — the existence of such a will has not yet been made public.
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 Shakur’s sister), Sekyiwa Shakur, could further complicate the situation.
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.