DENVER (CBS4/AP) – A lawsuit over Pat Bowlen’s will and trust was dismissed. Last month, the trial for ownership of the Denver Broncos was vacated last month — less than two weeks before it was set to begin.
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 in 2019 a few weeks before of his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bowlen’s two eldest daughters from his first marriage — Beth Bowlen Wallace, 49, and Amie Klemmer, 51 — 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.
This week’s court filing states the parties have agreed and the court has found that the 2009 Estate Planning Documents and the 2010 Delegation of Authority are valid, enforceable and reflect Bowlen’s intent and will. The filing also affirms that the three trustees, Joe Ellis, Rich Slivka, and Mary Kelly, have the “full and complete authority” to administer the trust.
It’s unclear how this will affect the future of the Broncos ownership. In the immediate future, the team will continue to run as it has since Pat’s passing with Joe Ellis serving as President and CEO, but it does raise questions about a potential selling of the team.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)