Well… at least the team’s multi-billionaire owner is.
Miami Heat fans, when not preoccupied with Kevin Durant or silenced by LeBron James’ basket moves, are well acquainted with Micky Arison, probably the richest man in Florida.
Also the CEO of Carnival Cruises, Micky is no stranger to the concept of estate planning. Did you know that his father, Ted Arison, co-founder of the Cruise Lines, went so far as to renounce his citizenship in order to avoid paying estate taxes?
In 2003, the Arison family sold more than $100 million of Carnival stock in order to reduce their controlling stake in the company and diversify their investments as part of an estate and tax planning strategy.
Micky has even formed the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Charitable Trust with a philanthropic commitment to the University of Miami as well as Miami’s City Ballet, Children’s Museum, Art Museum, and the American Red Cross.
Arison has been described as a very competitive person who hates the prospect of losing. Yet, the business of owning a professional sports team can cause serious financial difficulties for surviving family members after the death of its owner. In 2009, Micky probably stayed afloat with the news surrounding death of Bill Davidson, majority owner of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, whom the Miami Heat just happened to defeat in the 2006 NBA championship.
Davidson’s spouse Karen, inherited the team through a complex series of trusts along with her two adult children. She contemplated selling the team to a private equity investor, which was consummated last year. It was speculated that although the estate was worth billions, she would not owe any estate tax. However, after her death, her children would be left to pay Uncle Sam’s hefty tax bill.
It would not be surprising if Micky has already engaged in smart business succession planning by accounting for the Miami Heat in his estate plan in order to save his family from the bullets of heavy taxation.
However, the core of estate planning is in actuality, not about how much money you make. It’s really about protecting your loved ones, regardless of your income level or age.
We already know what the man behind the Miami Heat is doing to solidify his estate plan.
The question now remains… what are “you” doing about yours?
If you have family, friends or even a charitable intent, the absence of an estate plan is inexcusable. For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at email@example.com to schedule your free consultation.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?