DENVER — Two daughters of the late Pat Bowlen have filed a petition to invalidate a 2009 trust for ownership of the Denver Broncos.
In a filing in Arapahoe County Court on Friday, Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace argue their father did not have the capacity to sign his estate planning documents.
"There is substantial evidence that Mr. Bowlen lacked the required capacity in 2009," said Giovanni Ruscitti, an attorney for Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace, in a statement. "As a result, Ms. Klemmer and Ms. Wallace have filed a petition asking the Arapahoe County Court to decide that issue, the related issue of whether the 2009 trust was valid, and whether Mr. Bowlen was susceptible to undue influence."
The estate documents established a three-person trust to determine which of Pat Bowlen's seven children would be named the team's controlling owner.
Klemmer and Wallace believe their father was already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease when he signed the documents. The daughters have been in an NFL arbitration fight with trustees since last October.
Scott Robinson, an attorney for Klemmer and Wallace, sent 9NEWS this statement:
“The trustees had been attempting to have these issues decided by the NFL arbitrator, which we believed was improper and an attempt assert important powers and authority from the Colorado courts.”
Scott Robinson is also the name of a 9NEWS legal expert, but is not the attorney representing Klemmer and Wallace.
Daniel Reilly, the lawyer for the trustees, released the following statement to 9NEWS:
"It is sad and unfortunate that Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Bowlen Klemmer have elected to contest their father’s plan and attack his personal health. This complaint represents the latest effort in their public campaign to circumvent Pat Bowlen’s wishes.
"The evidence in the courtroom will show Pat Bowlen was fully capable of establishing and understanding his trust and estate plan when it was created in 2009. Mses. Wallace and Klemmer’s current position about their father’s supposed mental incapacity in 2009 was not raised by them or their lawyers until after 2014, when Ms. Wallace was privately told by the trustees that she was not capable or qualified to serve as controlling owner.
The trustees will continue to follow Pat Bowlen's plan to oversee and protect the team, the entire Bowlen family, and Broncos fans everywhere."
Pat Bowlen died on June 13 at age 75. He stepped away from an active role in the team’s management in July 2014. The Broncos were placed in a trust controlled by three people – Joe Ellis, the president and CEO of the team; Richard Slivka, the team’s executive vice president and general counsel; and Mary Kelly, an attorney. All three were longtime advisers to the Broncos owner.
Pat Bowlen’s wish was that the trustees would identify one of his seven children to succeed him as the team’s controlling owner.
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