Owner of Utah Jazz Keeps Basketball Club in the Family

Gail millerI love a great estate plan so when I had the chance to review how Gail Miller designed a way to keep their NBA franchise in the family I couldn't resist sharing that plan with my readers.

The ownership of the NBA franchise, the Utah Jazz, has been transferred from owner Gail Miller to a legacy trust. This action will ensure that the team will remain in her family for generations.

Miller and her late husband Larry purchased 50% of the NBA franchise in 1985, when there was concern that the team would leave town. The Millers purchased the other half of the team a year later. Miller commented that her primary reason for the transfer was to make certain the basketball team remains in Utah. The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979 from New Orleans.

 “It's part of a big package of estate planning. Gail Miller explained. But it's one part that's all done and it will last forever as long as we have people who are willing and able to take care of it," she said.

Miller will stay on as the trustee until her death. The trust's board of managers includes six Miller family members: children Greg, Steve, Bryan, and Karen, as well as a grandson, Zane. Jazz officials think this is the first legacy trust for a professional franchise in any of the four major U.S. leagues.

Dennis Haslam, who’s a former team president and part of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies board of directors, remarked that they worked with the NBA for a year to finalize the transfer. In addition to keeping the team in the state, there are some tax advantages in the transfer. "This has the potential of lasting for hundreds of years, maybe longer," Haslam said. "We don't know where the NBA will be in 100 years, but it has the potential to survive that long."

For an estate planning attorney like me, this sort of success story is heart warming especially when you consider how many times I have had to report estate planning failures.  I can help you design your own family legacy, why not give me a call at 757.259.0707 or request a consultation online by clicking the link provided.

Reference: Associated Press (January 23, 2017) “Jazz ownership transferred to trust.”


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