May 5

Wrigley and the Chicago Cubs

One of the truly big human interest stories of 2016 was the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. The Cubs, who won back to back World Series in 1907 and 1908, had not won in one hundred and eight years – which is pretty much the all time record for sports related slumps. However, on November 2, 2016 the slump ended, the curse of the goat lifted, and the Cubbies took home their third career trophy.

Although denied a trophy during his time as owner, chewing gum mogul, William Wrigley Jr. was arguably the Cub’s biggest fan. Wrigley acquired controlling interest in 1921, and immediately began promoting, funding and acquiring athletic talent for the team.

On Tuesday, January 26, 1932 Mr. Wrigley died. His son, Philip inherited ownership of Wm Wrigley Jr. Company, and with it, the Chicago Cubs.

Philip shared his father’s cunning for business and his interest in baseball, but Philip did not share William’s savvy for estate planning. When Philip died Tuesday, April 12, 1977, his estate owed between forty and fifty million dollars in taxes.

Philip’s son, William Wrigley III inherited the company and the debt. William III was forced to sell ownership of the Cubs and of Wrigley Field in order to pay the tax bill. The fallout led to family fighting, and ultimately to the sale of Wm Wrigley Jr. Company in 2008 by William “Bill” Wrigley IV.

Today, the Cub’s stadium continues to bear the name, Wrigley Field in recognition of the Wrigley family and their sixty years of ownership.

For more information about wills, trusts or other estate planning documents, please contact a qualified estate planning attorney.

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