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Florida billionaire's estate plan may be good for football fans

Football fans in Tampa Bay and across the NFL are mourning the loss of owner Malcolm Glazer. The long-time owner of the local Florida franchise died recently, spurring media members to recount the Buccaneers' years under Glazer's regime. At the same time, however, his death gave rise to questions over the future of the team.

Fortunately, it appears that the stability of the team will carry on. According to reports, Glazer's estate planning was carefully constructed to transfer control of the team to his six children, three of whom are currently co-chairmen for the team. How the ownership and control will be divided or shared among these individuals, however, is unknown.

Given the potential for multiple-party ownership, some business owners opt out of this scenario. Former Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, for example, directed the team to be sold in his will with the proceeds going to start a charitable foundation. As a result, $800 million was raised when the team was sold following Cooke's death in 1997.

While Cooke's family lost most of its control over the football team, some would argue his strategy was desirable because it avoided any family disputes. Maintaining harmony is often a primary goal in estate planning. In other situations, though, this may not be a concern as the individual's focus is to preserve assets for future generations.

No matter the priority, Lee estate planning attorneys can help Florida residents construct an estate plan that fits their needs. Especially if there is a business which needs to be managed or sold, a proper estate plan can ensure the transfer of control is seamless so an individual's legacy is not diminished by a dispute concerning who is entitled to what.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Careful estate planning likely means Tamp Bay Bucs staying with Glazer family," Jeff Harrington, May 28, 2014

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