The week he died Amazon and several other major online retailers sold out of his CDs, his Number Ones collection went from #123 on the charts to #1, and 43 of his songs hit the Top 200. Cite
This surge alone would have given his estate the liquidity to help deal with the most pressing financial needs. No idea what his life insurance situation was like but I’m guessing it was, to use his own frequently used phrase regarding his money, “up there”, and any money owed to the promoters for his upcoming dates would have been paid back by insurance (which is standard) and not from his estate.
Plus just the scraps of his empire would allow you and your closest loved ones to live in the 1% for the rest of your life. We’re not talking moderately successful sitcom co-star “lots of money” but richer than the guy who owns that sitcom and 12 others" amounts of money; when it’s impossible to estimate your personal worth even to the nearest $100 million or your income to the nearest $10 million, there’s a shitload of money in there.
Plus, I would think that a lot of his assets were probably protected from any kind of creditors and-or set up in the names of other people and of trusts and the like and even had the worst happened to him financially in his lifestyle he’d not only never have missed (whatever passed for a meal for him), he’d never have been folding his own clothes or driving his own car or having to clip coupons to live lavishly.