There have been a handful of professional sports franchise owners that have become synonymous with the teams that they owned. Without question, one of these is the late Al Davis.
Davis was the longtime owner of the Raiders. He passed away at the age of 82 on October 8th of last year.
Al Davis was the majority owner of the Oakland Raiders even after having divested himself of part of his share of the team a few years before his death. The value of the Raiders is well in excess of $700 million and reports have indicated that he passed away owning just under half of the club.
The estate tax rate was 35% last year as it is this year, and the exclusion when Al Davis passed away was $5 million. So Al Davis was holding over $300 million in assets via his share of the Raiders with only $5 million of this being exempt. That is quite a big tax bill and many families who were in this situation would be forced to sell the team to pay the estate tax.
As it turned out, Al Davis planned his estate carefully so that his wife Carol and son Mark could retain the majority ownership share of this team that meant so much to him.
You may not own a professional football franchise, but you may in fact own a business that means as much to you as the Raiders meant to Al Davis. If you want to take steps to keep your business in the family after you pass away, the wise course of action is to discuss the matter with a licensed and experienced San Jose estate planning attorney.