It was terrible hearing about the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash on Sunday. The pain his wife Vanessa and his surviving daughters are going through is unimaginable. When tragedies happen, I always hope there is an estate plan in place that prevents more suffering for the surviving family members. This may well be the case for Bryant's family. From all accounts Kobe Bryant was a savvy business man. I would expect he had one or more trusts and business entities in place to protect his family, ensure liability protection, and to provide for a smooth transition if anything happened to him.
Kobe Bryant's estate is estimated at around 680 million dollars. Given his influence and popularity, the estate will probably continue to produce income even though he is gone. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of his death and the fact there were others in his helicopter, Vanessa Bryant may have a very difficult road ahead; there could be lawsuits against Kobe Bryant's estate, the helicopter's owners or lessors, and the manufacturer. Estate battles add insult to injury and hit when survivors are at their lowest point.
A few years ago, when Kobe was in Charlotte for a Lakers game, a close family member ran into him at Starbucks. Bryant was charming and unpretentious. Kobe Bryant will always have a special place in the hearts of Charlotteans and all of us who remember his days as a Hornet. On January 26, 2020, the President of Basketball Operations & General Manager for the Charlotte Hornets, Mitch Kupchak, released a statement in which he summed up Kobe Bryant's legendary career and character,
“Kobe’s toughness on the basketball court was second to none. He played through injuries and sickness, oftentimes defying doctors’ and ownership’s recommendations to not play, in an effort to never miss a game. Kobe was a once-in-a-generation player who will forever be remembered for his competitive nature and his will to win. They threw away the mold when Kobe Bryant was born. There will never be another like him."
Rest in peace Kobe.