When the patriarch of a family that owns an NFL franchise passes, one of the most important questions becomes whether the transfer of his ownership interest to other family members will trigger the kind of estate-tax obligation that will make it impossible for the family to pay the taxes without selling all or part of the team. For the Chargers, the passing of Alex Spanos will not force the family to sell.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Alex Spanos commenced the process of planning for the transfer of the team in 1998. The goal was to ensure that the Spanos family would be able to continue to own and operate the franchise for as long as they choose to do so.
And they choose to do so; according to the source, the family will not be selling any of the team, and no plans exist to sell any of the team in the future.
The process began with the transfer of 60 percent of the team to…