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Daughters of late Broncos owner Pat Bowlen contest his his trust

Daughters of late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen contest his mental capacity when he signed over control of the club and his estate to trustees, saying he already had Alzheimer’s in 2009

  • The oldest daughters of late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen will challenge their father’s final trust and the team’s top executives in court next summer
  • Five weeks have been set aside for the July 2021 trail, which could unseat the trustees of Bowlen’s estate as the club’s effective owners
  • The trust was made in 2009 to designate Bowlen’s successor upon his death or incapacity. He stepped down in 2013 because of Alzheimer’s and died in 2019 
  • The sisters, along with their uncle, have contended in court documents that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s long before he signed his updated trust in 2009
  • One daughter announced in 2018 that she wanted to become controlling owner of the team. Trustees have let it be known that her half-sister will get the job

The oldest daughters of late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen will challenge their father’s final trust and the team’s top executives in court, arguing that their father was already suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s when the document was finalized in 2009.  

Five weeks have been set aside for the July 2021 trail, which could unseat the trustees of Bowlen’s estate as the club’s effective owners. 

The trial was scheduled to begin September 1 via videoconference in front of Arapahoe County Court Judge John E. Scipione. It is now expected to be held in Scipione’s courtroom next July providing the COVID-19 crisis abates.

The case pits Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace, Bowlen’s oldest daughters from his first marriage, against the trio of trustees who have run the team for the last seven years.

The trust was empowered in 2009 to designate Bowlen’s successor upon his death or incapacity. Bowlen stepped down in 2013 because of Alzheimer’s and he died last year a few weeks before of his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The trust was empowered in 2009 to designate Pat Bowlen’s successor upon his death or incapacity. Bowlen (pictured in 2012) stepped down in 2013 because of Alzheimer’s and he died last year a few weeks before of his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

In this August 3, 2019, file photo, members of the Bowlen family, from left to right, Brittany Bowlen, Annabel Bowlen, Amie Bowlen Klemmer, Christina Bowlen, Patrick Bowlen and Beth Bowlen Wallace pose with a bust of former Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Pat Bowlen's two oldest daughters, Wallace and Klemmer, have put themselves at risk of being disinherited by challenging their father's trust, which is in charge of selecting the next controlling owner of the Broncos, a franchise valued at more than $2.5 billion

In this August 3, 2019, file photo, members of the Bowlen family, from left to right, Brittany Bowlen, Annabel Bowlen, Amie Bowlen Klemmer, Christina Bowlen, Patrick Bowlen and Beth Bowlen Wallace pose with a bust of former Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Pat Bowlen’s two oldest daughters, Wallace and Klemmer, have put themselves at risk of being disinherited by challenging their father’s trust, which is in charge of selecting the next controlling owner of the Broncos, a franchise valued at more than $2.5 billion

Klemmer and Wallace, along with their uncle, Bill Bowlen, have contended in court documents that Pat Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s long before he signed his updated trust in 2009 and they want the trustees removed.

The trustees – team president/CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly – and the lawyer who prepared Pat Bowlen’s estate plan have said in response that Pat Bowlen knew what he was doing when he signed the documents in 2009.

Wallace previously announced in 2018 that she wanted to become controlling owner of the team, while trustees have let it be known that her half-sister, Broncos as vice president of strategic initiatives Brittany Bowlen, will ultimately fill her late father’s seat atop the team hierarchy. 

The Bowlen case is similar to one involving New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson, who inherited the team and the NBA’s Pelicans from her late husband Tom. 

Benson’s other heirs claimed in 2015 that Gayle, the billionaire’s third wife, manipulated him into rewriting his will and isolated him from his friends and family.

The Judge dismissed the lawsuit following eight days of testimony, ruling Benson was mentally sound when he ousted his estranged daughter and grandchildren from ownership positions with his teams.

Gayle Benson, a devout Catholic with close ties to Archbishop Gregory Aymond, inherited Benson’s business empire and has defended the Saint’s public relations work on behalf of the cash-strapped archdiocese, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Aymond served as a witness to the signing of the will that cut out Benson’s estranged heirs.

In this June 16, 1998, file photo, then President Clinton, left, and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a ceremony at the White House where the president honored the Super Bowl XXXII champions

In this June 16, 1998, file photo, then President Clinton, left, and Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a ceremony at the White House where the president honored the Super Bowl XXXII champions

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