Season tickets are at the heart of Lumpkin family probate litigation, P.2

In our previous post, we began speaking about a long-time probate dispute between the son and daughter of Frank Lumpkin Jr., who was a die-hard Georgia athletics fan. The dispute, we noted, concerns season tickets. Such disputes, while not common, can and do occur.

Many college and professional teams actually have specific rules about how to proceed with season tickets in the event of the ticket holder's death. The Green Bay Packers, for instances, have this problem from time to time. The waiting list for Packer's season tickets is over 100,000 names long and only 50 to 130 names have off the list over the past 35 years.

The Green Bay Packers encounter their share of disputes over season tickets, and even facilitate mediations to prevent them from going to court. One of the unique rules the Packers have is that, when parents have not specified who gets the tickets in the will, the siblings must agree who gets the tickets or nobody gets them, and they are released to the next person on the waiting list. The Packers, and other teams as well, have transfer forms to allow parents to sign their tickets over.

Some teams, though, don't allow for such transfers. The Chicago Cubs, for instance, have such a long waiting list that when a ticket holder dies, their tickets go to the next person on the waiting list. Teams like the Packers allow them to remain in families for decades or more.

Season tickets are definitely something that should be addressed in estate planning, particularly in families with multiple sports enthusiast. Doing so will help avoid conflict and allow the probate process to proceed more smoothly.

Source: ESPN, "Dad's dead; now hand over his tickets," September 7, 2012.

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