Did Huizenga's Parcells Deal Menace His Estate?


Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga at some point in his life had to be a smart guy. He might not be one now.

Rightfully thinking about the tremendous burden of estate taxes, word was earlier this week Huizenga was readying to sell.

He still might cash out a minority stake, but in a successful bid to draw Bill Parcells to the team, he guaranteed that he'd remain the majority owner for the next four years.

That's quite a risk to take.

If Huizenga -- who turns 70 next week -- passed away with the team still in his name, his family would get slammed with something like a $450 million estate tax bill.

That is, at least at this point; unless he dies in 2010, when there is no estate tax (that could change, though).

Here's what Huizenga should do: He should sell 49 percent of the team for something like $450 million. Taxes will cost him in the $60 million range and he'll walk away with about $390 million.

Sure, there are tricks like willing the team laterally to the wife or skipping over a generation, but the IRS has been watching these things more than ever before.

What's worse than a winless season? A winless season and bad estate planning.

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