How do I take over the family business from my aging father?

Asked about 4 years ago - Philadelphia, PA

My father has owned the business since he took the company from my grandfather 35 years ago. The story goes that my grandfather came in the day after he turned 65 and gave it to him. My research has found that he took the company from him by using the employees to basically strike.

I have been working here 25 years and know the company in and out. I run the business from bid to payment. He plans on giving the business to my half sisters who are both abroad learning other things. He has been fleacing the company for years. If he has a medical problem the ownership will go to his wife, the company will be sold and all the employees fired. Any ideas? I fear for the family name!!!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You have multiple issues here. First, is this a corporation? Who owns the shares? Does your dad even own htem or are the shares still in your late grandfather's name?
    If you are entrenched in the business why in the world would he want to give the shares to your sister's of all people. This is sure to cause family discord and may result in the business failing. If he has medical problems, the wife (is she your mother?) will be given the shares and she will sell it? And all employees are fired? None of this makes any financial, business or estate planning sense.
    Listen, you really need to talk with an estates/business attorney to explore this situation in detail and to protect yourself before it is too late. Call me if you want to meet to explore the issues.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below and/or designate my answer as best answer. Thanks.
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  2. Nancy L. Lanard

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Your questions raises several issues as Steve pointed out. There are both elder law/estates issues and business law issues. The first question is whether the business is a corporation (I would assume from the age of the business that it is not a limited liability company since these were formed more recently). If it is a corporation or separate legal entity and not a sole proprietorship, it will depend on who owns the shares and what the corporate documents state (By-Laws, Minutes, Shareholder Agreement, etc). In addition, the question of your father's mental capacity needs to be answered. From the brief details of your question, it sounds like you and your family are not on great relations (or at least you and your father). I think you should consult with an experienced business and elder law attorney. If you contact me (215-525-1165 x101) I can direct you to a fabulous elder law attorney and advise you on the business issues. If this has helped, please check the thumbs up icon.

    This response is not intended to provide legal advice or to establish an attorney client relationship.

  3. Ronald Glenn Lieberman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Your answers lie with an elder law attorney and not a family law one.

    DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State where this charge is filed.

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A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by one person in which there is no legal distinction between the business and owner.

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