In our last post, we began to look at an ongoing dispute between the children Frank Lumpkin Jr., who was by all accounts a die-hard Georgia athletics fan. We left off noting that disputes over season tickets are not all uncommon in probate. For die-hard fans like the Lumpkin’s, season tickets can have a large sentimental value.
The Green Bay Packers, for instance, have policies to help deal with such probate disputes, as many teams do. One of them is that if the parents haven’t specified who gets the tickets and the kids cannot agree, nobody gets them. The Packers even have a form to transfer season tickets. Other teams have similar forms, though some only permit transfer to a surviving spouse, and most require documentation like a birth and a death certificate.
Some say that fans holding season tickets don’t really own them, but only own the right to purchase them year after year, and that season tickets cannot therefore be transferred in a will. The Chicago Cubs don’ t allow transfer, so when a fan dies, his or her season tickets go to the next person on the waiting list. This makes it so that season tickets don’t stay in the same family for decades.
In some families, there are no disputes over such matters as only one person stands out as a sports fan interested enough in season tickets to pay the price. In families like the Lumpkins, though disputes can and do arise.
Such issues are, obviously, bets addressed in estate planning, rather than leaving it for a probate court to solve. Working with an experienced attorney can help address this issue and many others as well.
Source: ESPN, “Dad’s dead; now hand over his tickets,” September 7, 2012