The Denver Broncos fumbled the ball on his estate plan
Pat Bowlen, the billionaire owner of the Denver Broncos, passed away with what was supposed to be an orderly, organized, and air-tight estate plan. Pat Bowlen was a former owner of the Denver Broncos, a professional American football team in the National Football League (NFL). He was the team’s owner from 1984 until his death in 2019, and during his ownership, the Broncos won three Super Bowl titles and made it to the playoffs numerous times. Bowlen was highly regarded as one of the most successful and influential owners in the NFL, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019. Pat Bowlen purchased the Broncos in 1984 and the franchise won three Super Bowls during his ownership. It was estimated that he purchased the Broncos for a cool $78 million dollars. Bowlen ceded control of the team in July 2014 when he acknowledged that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen passed away in 2019 and the Pat Bowlen Trust has assumed ownership since then.
Everything was supposed to go smoothly after his death.
The exact opposite happened.
Bowlen’s surviving family members, which included his seven children from two marriages, his three siblings (who were various co-owners at different points in time with their own children) all complicated the estate plan with their constant bickering.
The complications with the estate plan are as follows:
- The removal three trustees as the estate’s conservator, and bickering about the appointment of an independent party to serve as the estate’s conservator.
- The current trustees declined a succession plan submitted by Pat’s two daughters from his first marriage, Amie Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace. Annabel Bowlen—Pat’s second wife—“became very upset” when she learned that Beth progressed toward ascension as the controlling owner.
Essentially, even though Pat had everything planned out, family bickering became a contentious problem. You can read more, here.