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article imageDenver Broncos boss steps down, keeps franchise in the family

By Michael Essany     Jul 24, 2014 in Sports
Denver - On Wednesday, the sports world reacted with a resounding show of remorse and respect in response to news that Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is relinquishing control of his beloved team due to Alzheimer's disease.
ESPN confirms the 70-year-old legendary owner will now be removed from the team's daily operations as Denver Broncos team president Joe Ellis assumes the title of chief executive officer and shoulders the key decisions once reserved for Bowlen.
"Today is a day of sadness for us, it's a day of tremendous sadness for the Bowlen family, all of our employees, people around the National Football League, and this region and this community," Ellis was quoted by the Denver Post during an understandably somber news conference. "Pat wants us to do two things. He wants us to win, he's always wanted that and will continue to want that. Also he's always wanted everybody here to do things the right way."
Sources close to the the Broncos, however, confirm that ownership of the franchise won't stray far from Bowlen blood any time soon. The franchise is now held in a trust that the retiring Bowlen established years ago to preserve family ownership.
Bowlen hopes that one of his seven children will ultimately "earn the right to run the franchise someday."
All told, say sports historians and asset planning experts, it was a masterstroke of planning genius on the part of Bowlen to establish a comprehensive trust in which the franchise will be placed. Best of all, high profile examples of sound financial or asset planning are always beneficial to society at large — not just to fellow prominent sports team owners and run-of-the-mill millionaires.
According to Mary Beth Franklin of Kiplinger, financial planning is still perceived as a "service reserved for the wealthy." And while that's understandable, she says, it's not entirely true. "People who don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings need guidance, too."
While the example of Bowlen's asset planning doesn't necessarily provide relevant examples for the vast majority of Americans, an important public service has been provided just by the swarm of headlines that raise attention for the critical importance of estate, financial, and asset planning.
"Having an asset protection and estate plan is no longer just the priority of the upper class," reads a recently published infographic on the subject from Utah-based asset planning firm York Howell. The attorneys caution that regardless of how much or how little you have, settling up before checking out is a great way to not only preserve a legacy but keep the peace and mitigate expenses.
Avoiding probate, they say, is enough of a reason to create an asset protection plan. "Save heirs legal fees, taxes, and time," the infographic explains. "Savings are multiplied if you have property in multiple states."
In the final analysis, for Pat Bowlen and the Bowlen family, there is little concern about the fate of the Broncos, as the famed franchise is poised to remain a staple of their bloodline for generations to come.
"We are going to do right by his family, the team and the community," an emotional Joe Ellis said Wednesday. "This is really hard. It doesn't change what we do. He loved running this team and was really good at it. ... We all wish Pat would walk through that door and do what he did so well. But he left us a blueprint that's easy to follow."
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