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  1. #11
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    Thanks everyone, great replies and have given me some food for thought.

    I think what you said @atomicmama about the situation with farmers is spot on and I'm sure that's what my sister is feeling - that she's put a lot of work into something and I'd just waltz and and be a part of it after having nothing to do with the business at all. But then on the other hand I do understand that Dad was trying to build a legacy for both of us and that he always had me in mind as a part of the reason why he was building a business that may have long-term residual income, meaning that the work is done now and may potentially keep on paying for years later without any more work being put in, ifykwim? In that situation my sister would see that as me getting "something for nothing" rather than a gift from Dad that she is also receiving equally. I do understand her perspective and likely I'd feel a bit the same if the roles were reversed.

    It is quite awkward to sit down and talk about with the three of them as my sister doesn't feel that it is any of my business, so it's between her and Dad. I did say to Dad that I'm not attached at all, and that he must do whatever it is that he wants to do and certainly, to take into account my sister's feelings on the subject, but ultimately it is his decision and I'm fine with whatever that is. If he does leave me part of the business, then I'll need to have an idea of what to do - as others have mentioned above, my sister might think that I want her to buy me out at market value or something and be worried about that. I wouldn't do that and I don't have any interest in being involved in the business myself, so I will have to have a think about what would happen if Dad did leave me 25%.

    Ideally yes, she would buy Dad out now and then his cash is his to do what he likes with. I might even suggest that to him now, (only if he brings it up again) as an option, especially if his health is deteriorating and he can't work full time, then at least he can have peace of mind that he's out of the business and can make his own decisions without upsetting my sister.

    @VicPark that's exactly what I did He doesn't need stress right now, just support, so I'll give him that and even though I do think my sister is out of line, in the great scheme of things I never expected anything from my parents anyway, so it's neither here nor there, but I don't like seeing Dad being bullied into a decision that he might not want to make in quite that way.
    Last edited by Summer; 04-04-2016 at 14:16.

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  3. #12
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    I get where you and your sister are coming from. But then you ask yourself, if your Dad didn't have this business, where would have his money have gone that he used for the business ? - probably 50/50, so in reality your sister then has more than her fair share if he does give her 100% of his share of the business. So my train of thought is that he probably should give her his share of the business, but make it up to you in other assets he has. Or as you have suggested, he bows out of the business and your sister buys him out, hence there is money for you both, split however.

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    Summer  (04-04-2016)

  5. #13
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    I can see both sides here. On one hand, it's your father's share that he put into the business and worked equal hours to her for. Legally and morally he should be able to do with his share as he wishes.

    But on the other, I thought the same as Atomic. She has put years into this business, and as pointed out, may not have the cash flow to buy you out. In her mind that means that 25% of the profits technically go to you. I'm not sure how highly skilled the business is, but you may not have the experience and skills to take your father's place which means she either a) takes on your father's role and you get 25% for doing nothing (in her eyes) or b) she has to employ someone to help while still having to pay you a quarter of the profits.

    It's a really hard one

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    Summer  (04-04-2016)

  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4LeafClover View Post
    So my train of thought is that he probably should give her his share of the business, but make it up to you in other assets he has. Or as you have suggested, he bows out of the business and your sister buys him out, hence there is money for you both, split however.
    Yep this is a good idea.

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    Summer  (04-04-2016)

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    Firstly sorry to hear your father is unwell.

    Secondly, your sister is so far past the line!
    OMFG!

    How DARE she. I mean I get that she helped build up this business- that's why she owns 50%!
    God if one of my kids came to me and said similar, I would leave the entire 50% of my share to the other kid and not the one who asked/demanded.

    Your father did 50% of the work. That is his to do with as he wishes.

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    Summer  (04-04-2016)

  11. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4LeafClover View Post
    I get where you and your sister are coming from. But then you ask yourself, if your Dad didn't have this business, where would have his money have gone that he used for the business ? - probably 50/50, so in reality your sister then has more than her fair share if he does give her 100% of his share of the business. So my train of thought is that he probably should give her his share of the business, but make it up to you in other assets he has. Or as you have suggested, he bows out of the business and your sister buys him out, hence there is money for you both, split however.
    Like someone else my experience is a family farm, where my dad worked his butt off and his brother didn't live local and did nothing for the property or his father (parents split when he was young and the brother didn't even grow up here) and we were lucky he changed his will giving the property and equipment to my dad and leaving money to his brother instead. So above would be my suggestion as well.

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    Summer  (04-04-2016)

  13. #17
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    I'm so sorry to hear about your father what a ****ty situation to be in. Your sister is way out of line. However I certainly can understand where she is coming from. Though her approach was completely wrong.

    If I was in her position I would have said to my dad that as his health is failing, I want to buy out his share of the business so that at least he can enjoy the rest of his years in relative peace without the stress of work, while having a good amount of $ to cover medical bills and a decent bit of R&R.

    I don't agree with him leaving the business share to her and other assets to you. He doesn't know what the business will be worth when he eventually passes - that could be years or months.. It's impossible to know what would be "equitable", and the last thing you want is a dispute over the will.

    I would suggest to him (or her) if it's brought up again, that she should get a loan and buy out his share.

    I'm in a similar situation except that I have a very good relationship with my siblings - my brother, sister and I are all beneficiaries to my father's business but I am the only one who actually works with him in the business. It's my livelihood and I see myself taking "ownership" or control once he retires, or heaven forbid, he passes away. My brother worked in the business for almost as long as I have (I've been in it for 11 years) but he started up his own company in the same industry. My sister on the other hand went in a completely different direction. While I don't consider my sister to be a part of the business, and my brother is only tangentially connected to it, i respect the fact that my father made us all beneficiaries.

  14. #18
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    @Summer, sorry to hear about your dad, that sounds very upsetting and worrying. I hope he does better than expected.

    I'm in agreement with the idea that he should get to choose how his estate/legacy is bequeathed. It sounds like your sister is engaged in elder bullying which is hideous and remarkably common. Maybe it is her way of processing the upcoming loss of her dad, but she needs better stress management. It must be so hard for parents when their love for their children is turned into a financial calculation. Your dad has built a legacy for both of you. I know that I would always want my estate to be split equally amongst my children.

    I imagine your sister has drawn a salary from the business and that is her reward for her previous hard work. Also, would she be a business owner now if not for your dad's contributions over the years? If she was not family she would not have a leg to stand on - any business partner can leave their share to whoever they want. I see it as different to a family farm in that they have often been in the family for generations, there is a strong emotional connection to the property and an expectation that the farm must stay in the family so one or more of the children are obligated to become a farmer when that might not have been their wish. If she willingly went into business with your dad she had an opportunity that many would dream of. I also know many children who've put careers on hold to care for a dying parent and then the estate is still divided equally. We do some things for love and some for money - it sounds like your sister has this muddled. Now that I'm in my 40s I have more and more friends who are needing to take on carer roles and you don't get paid for that, just as our parents didn't get paid for raising us!

    A few ideas: Could she pay you a dividend as a silent partner? Could the business be professionally valued (this will take into account goodwill and make allowances for ongoing income) and she buy your dad/you out? Should the business be sold and you each do your own thing (I know an extremely wealthy family and that is what they've done for 4 generations and the kids get their inheritance and most go into the same industry - I always thought this was curious, but maybe it was to avoid the family feuding over money). Are there other assets that can compensate for the value of the business? Is it a business you'd have an interest in becoming involved in?

    Has your dad seen a financial adviser about how to manage the business and also his retirement/end of life planning? It can get so complex. Would he be better to stop working or reduce his workload at this time? It's sad to think that the expectation is that he'll be gone shortly and not get to enjoy the rewards of his had work.

    Thinking of you.

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