The federal estate tax carries a 40% maximum rate, and the exclusion in 2013 is $5.25 million. This may seem like a significant cushion, but as they say everything is relative.
Back in 1979 a partnership group that was led by Dr. Jerry Buss decided to purchase the Los Angeles Lakers, the Forum, and the Los Angeles Kings from Jack Kent Cooke. The Lakers cost the partnership $20 million.
Buss passed away recently at the age of 80. Forbes estimates the value the Lakers at present to be around $1 billion. And of course, the majority share of the Lakers was not Jerry Buss’ only asset.
We don’t know the full extent of his holdings or the exact way that he planned his estate, but it is clear to see that a significant sum of money is due to the tax man.
Because of the estate tax bill the sporting world initially wondered if the team would be sold to generate liquidity.
Jerry Buss had six children and two of them, Jeanie and Jim, have been running the Lakers. Jeanie handles the business end and Jim is involved with the players.
The six children comprise a collective that has decided to hold on to the team. Apparently they are in a position to handle any estate tax liability that they may have incurred without having to divest themselves of the storied franchise.
While Jerry Buss was the owner the Lakers 10 NBA titles, so there is quite a standard to live up to and Laker fans are certainly hoping that the legacy of winning that Buss established continues.