Two of Pat Bowlen’s daughters take legal action to challenge ownership trust

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The attack on Pat Bowlen’s ownership succession plan is hardly over.

Two of Bowlen’s daughters have filed a petition challenging the trust created by their late father to determine control of the team by eventually selecting one of his seven children to run it. Via Nicki Jhabvala of TheAthletic.com, Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer challenge the validity of the Patrick D. Bowlen Trust on the grounds that he lacked capacity to create it, and that he was under undue influence when he did.

The new filing comes in the aftermath of the dismissal of a legal action previously pursued by Pat Bowlen’s brother, who apparently was acting on behalf of Wallace and Klemmer when questioning the authority of the three trustees who have managed the team since 2013. It is widely believed that 29-year-old Brittany Bowlen unofficially has been selected by the trustees, and that it’s just a matter of time before the selection occurs.

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“There is substantial and overwhelming evidence that Mr. Bowlen lacked the required capacity in 2009,” the lawyer representing Wallace and Klemmer said in a statement. “As a result, Ms. Klemmer and Ms. Wallace have filed a petition asking the court to decide that issue, the related issue of whether the 2009 trust — which is the document under which the trustees have derived their power and authority — is valid, and whether Mr. Bowlen was subjected to undue influence.”

Wallace and Klemmer contend that their father was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006, and that by the time he crafted the current version of the ownership trust in 2009 he lacked the capacity to do so.

The stakes are high for Wallace and Klemmer. Without venturing too deeply into the legal weeds, they could end up being completely disinherited by fighting the trust (which may explain why the first lawsuit was filed by their uncle). So they’re risking their portion of Pat Bowlen’s estate in order to challenge the current structure for determining control of the Broncos, in the obvious hopes that one of them will end up in control of the team when the dust of litigation settles.

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