Estate Planning Lawyer In Wausau

Estate Planning Lawyer in Wausau: Passing on your Green Bay Packers Season Tickets

Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, has been sold out on a season ticket basis since 1960.  Since that time, the waiting list for season tickets has grown to over 100,000.  There’s a 99.9% renewal rate for season ticket holders — only 119 names came off the list last year.  At that pace, getting on the waiting list today means you might get the chance to buy season tickets in about 840 years.  If, however, you are so fortunate as to be related to a current season ticket holder, your wait may be a bit shorter.

As an estate planning lawyer in Wausau, Wisconsin, just an hour and a half west of Green Bay, I frequently encounter clients who own Green Bay Packers season tickets.  Most Wisconsinites are aware that Packers season tickets can be passed on at death,  but they may not realize that the Packers official policy on ticket transfers restricts the transfer of season tickets during one’s lifetime and at death.

To Whom may You Transfer Your Season Tickets?

According the Official Policy on Transfer of Packers Season Tickets, individual ticket holders may transfer season tickets:

  • During the ticketholder’s lifetime only to a family member, which includes one’s spouse, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, sibling, parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt or first cousin.  The transfer request must be made in writing by the ticket holder.
  • At the ticketholder’s death:
    • To the family members designated in a written directive by the deceased ticketholder (e.g., a Will, Trust, or the Packers Official Transfer Form), provided, however, that such family members may only include one’s spouse, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, sibling, parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt or first cousin; or
    • If no written authorization exists, to the ticketholder’s spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, to the surviving children of the deceased ticket holder.  If the children do not agree upon who will take ownership of the tickets, they revert back to the Packers and are sold to those next in line on the waiting list.

There are special provisions for season tickets owned by a business entity, and for the transfer of season tickets upon divorce.

Failure to Plan

After a season ticketholder dies, problems can arise if the owner’s Will or other estate planning document deals with the tickets in a manner not consistent with the Packer’s official transfer policy.  For example, leaving the tickets to a non-relative, or directing that they be sold by the estate would not be permissible dispositions under the Packers transfer policy.

The more likely scenario is that the ticketholder has no estate plan, or has an estate plan that does not address the season tickets specifically.  This can result in disputes among the ticketholder’s children, since each ticket can only be owned by one individual.  In such a case, they would have to reach an agreement as to who the ticketholder would be.  Since failure to reach an agreement means that the tickets will revert back to the Packers, there is great incentive to resolve such dilemmas.

Failure to plan for the disposition of one’s season tickets can also result in unintended consequences, especially for parties to a second marriage.  For example, if a ticketholder is in a second marriage, with both parties having children from previous relationships, failure to designate a beneficiary of the tickets means that, at death, the tickets will go to the second spouse.  If the second spouse dies without making a provision for the tickets, they will then go to the second spouse’s children, rather than to the children of the original ticketholder.  Even worse — if the second spouse remarries, the tickets will go to his or her new spouse!

Complete a Packer Season Ticket Transfer Form

Making provisions for your season tickets doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.  If you already have an estate plan in place, but it doesn’t deal with your season tickets, you can complete a Packers Season Ticket Transfer Form and have it notarized.  The form can be kept with your other estate planning documents, to be presented after your death.  If you don’t have a Will, contact an estate planning lawyer in Wausau, and be sure to mention that you want to make a provision for your season tickets in your estate plan.

Estate Planning Lawyer in Wausau

If you don’t have an estate plan, or want to review your existing plan, Mary John, an estate planning lawyer in Wausau, can assist you.  All of our estate planning matters are handled on a flat-fee basis, so you know exactly what the cost will be before you decide to proceed.  Contact an estate planning lawyer in Wausau to prepare your estate plan. If you have questions about estate planning, call an estate planning lawyer in Wausau for a free telephone consultation. Call 715.843.6700 to speak with an estate planning lawyer in Wausau. Email an estate planning lawyer in Wausau.

Estate Planning Lawyer in Wausau WI: Eaton John Overbey Jackman, LLP

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Mary is a partner practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate, business law and real estate.