May 2016

PSL Ownership and Transferability

With the Carolina Panthers dominating the 2015-2016 season and making it to Super Bowl 50, fans across the NFL were jumping on the Panthers' bandwagon. Demand for and prices of tickets to the Seattle and Arizona playoff games soared to all-time highs. While everyday fans were left scrambling to Ticketmaster and Stubhub to secure a seat at the game, Carolina Panthers Personal Seat License (PSL) holders already had their tickets in hand.

PSL owners own the license to their seat and the right to buy tickets to every Carolina Panthers game at face value. In order to become a PSL owner, an individual must purchase the seat license (a one-time fee) and season tickets each year. The one-time seat license fee can range from $2,000 to $20,000 and season tickets each year can run between $430 to $4,300. A PSL is a valuable asset which should be taken into account when developing an estate plan.

Generally, there is a $400 transfer fee when a PSL owner transfers their PSL. However, that fee is waived under two circumstances: (1) transfers from a parent to child or grandparent to grandchild, and (2) due to the death of an account holder. Lifetime transfers of PSLs to children or grandchildren will avoid the $400 transfer fee and enable the owner to get the value of the PSLs out of their gross estate for estate tax purposes. While testamentary transfers will also avoid the $400 transfer fee, the value of the PSLs would be includable in the owner's gross estate for estate tax purposes and would be subject to probate. In order to avoid subjecting this asset to probate, the guidelines allow for transfers of PSLs to trusts. However, keep in mind that such transfers will trigger the $400 transfer fee.

It is important to consider your goals when selecting the right estate planning technique for your Carolina Panthers PSLs. Do you want to ensure your PSLs stay in the family for many years? Do you want to get rid of the PSLs before you pass away? Asking the right questions will help you identify the best solution for your PSLs.