In too many instances, the older generation of a family who worked hard to build a business fails to consider the family challenges that occur when the older family members die and leave the family company to the next generation. This issue has arisen in two recent complicated cases at Ford + Bergner. Both cases involve large, multi-million dollar family companies run primarily by one of the founder’s children, and as a result of the founder’s death, the other children filed suit over the actions of their sibling running the company.
In one case, the company has an extensive presence in Texas and other southern states, while the company in the other case is a national company with over 400 employees. Both cases pit siblings against each other, and both cases have resulted in extensive legal fees for everyone involved. Interestingly, both cases also involve trusts that the company founders established to enable their children to better manage the assets of their estates and the companies. However, the planning that the company founders attempted clearly failed to prevent animosity among their children.
In both cases, F+B was retained to represent the presidents of each company in working to preserve the goals the company founders had set for their companies, their children, and their estates. Because each of these cases involved complex estate issues coupled with complex business issues, F+B partnered with business litigation firms to provide the clients the best comprehensive representation possible.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a dispute with your family over a family company, Ford + Bergner would be happy to work with you to resolve those issues.