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Saints Owner Booted as Trustee of Billion Dollar Estate

Fortune cookie inheritance"The news represents a victory for Renee Benson who sued her father over his competency and control over the 1980 Shirley Benson Testamentary Trust."

NFL owner Tom Benson's estranged daughter, Renee Benson, will replace her billionaire father as trustee overseeing her late mother's assets in a settlement agreement approved recently by a probate court judge in Texas, according to an article in the San Antonio Express-News, "Tom Benson's daughter wrestles control of $1 billion trust in settlement"

The trust, valued at approximately $1 billion, was set up in 1980 after Tom Benson's first wife died—but before he took over as the owner of the NFL New Orleans Saints and the NBA New Orleans Pelicans.

Forbes said the elder Benson has a net worth of about $2.2 billion.

The professional sports teams are included in a separate trust that is also involved in a related court battle in Louisiana.

The assets in the Shirley Benson trust include most of San Antonio's Lone Star Capital Bank, half of five car dealerships, part of a large ranch, a mansion on Lake Tahoe, cash, a private plane and other real estate.

Tom Benson asked that the workers at the car dealerships tied to the trust fund be protected while a "reorganization" is completed. No details were released as to what the reorganization would involve.

Former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger, who was a court-appointed receiver for the trust until this recent announcement, estimated the value of the estate as approaching $1 billion. However, Renee Benson disputes his estimate, claiming that the value is about one fifth of Hardberger's estimate.

Reference: San Antonio Express-News (February 19, 2016) "Tom Benson's daughter wrestles control of $1 billion trust in settlement"

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