If you have been a fan of NFL football for a while you are well aware of the impact that Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis had on the sport. Davis became the owner of the team in 1970 and guided the franchise to four AFC Championships and a trio of Super Bowl triumphs. He worked with legendary coach John Madden and watched superstars such as Fred Biletnikoff, Daryle Lamonica, George Blanda, Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen, Lester Hayes, and Art Shell carve out iconic careers.
Al Davis died in Oakland on October 8, and his passing left the football community wondering about the future of the Oakland Raiders. Surviving Davis are his son Mark and his wife Carol. At the present time there is a 35% estate tax in place, so virtually all of Davis’ assets, including his 47% share in the Oakland Raiders, a team that is valued at $761 million according to Forbes magazine, would be subject to this tax unless certain steps were taken to gain estate tax efficiency. The possibility existed that the Raiders leadership would change hands if the Davis family was to sell their share in the team to pay the estate tax.
If reports that are coming from the San Francisco Chronicle and NBC Sports are correct, Al Davis had an intelligent estate plan in place that will enable his family to hang onto the Raiders. Whether you were a fan of Davis or one of his detractors, it is clear that the man loved this football team and it is heartening to see that it will be staying in the family according to these reports.
You may not own a football team, but you may in fact own a business that means a lot to you. If you want to make sure that it stays in the family after your passing, take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney who counts business succession planning among his or her specialties.