It may be difficult to empathize with people who have what many of us would consider to be very pleasant problems. However, the estate tax can in fact place a roadblock between you and your legacy.
Imagine a situation where someone has invested his or her entire life into building a sports franchise. This person’s family members have been involved in the operation of the team. The team becomes almost synonymous with the family name.
Over the years the team grows in value, and when the owner dies the estate tax bill is astronomical. As a result, the family must sell the team.
Fortunately the above scenario is not going to apply to the Buss family. Jerry Buss died on February 18 at the age of 80, and he was one of the most successful professional sports franchise owners in American history both financially and in terms of wins and losses.
The Lakers won 10 NBA championships on his watch, and he was part of an ownership group that bought the club for $20 million in 1979. Today the value of the Lakers is estimated to be somewhere in the vicinity of $1 billion.
ESPN and other sources are reporting that the Buss family is going to be able to retain a majority ownership share in the Los Angeles Lakers. There are actually six Buss children, but Jeanie Buss and her brother Jim have been running the team in a hands-on fashion.
This family collective has stated that they have no intentions of selling the team, so their father’s dream of keeping the Lakers in the family for the duration is being realized.