Rachel, who co-founded a restaurant business with her late sister, Lisa, is faced with a dilemma when Lisa’s husband asks her to include his daughter in the family business, despite Lisa’s wishes that her share of the business be passed down to her own children.
A Brand New Business
Twenty-five years ago, sisters, Rachel and Lisa, started a restaurant business together. Rachel was passionate about food, and Lisa was good with numbers, so they combined their skills to make it a success. Five years later, Lisa became unwell and passed away weeks after learning she had cancer.
Ownership Signed Over
Before she died, Lisa signed ownership of the business over to Rachel and made her promise that if her kids wanted in, they would take over her share in the future, which Rachel agreed to do. Lisa had also discussed her husband’s place in it all and expressed her desire that he not control her share after her death.
A Future Proof Plan
She wanted it to be her gift to her children if they wanted it, not something that went to his new family once she was gone.
They Loved It
Both of Lisa’s children became interested and took over their share of the business. They would eventually take over Rachel’s share as her own children were not interested.
However, bad blood started to form after Lisa’s husband remarried and had more children, as well as a stepchild. His wife didn’t like that her husband had no idea what the business was worth and wasn’t responsible for Lisa’s half, which would eventually be shared by the children he had with Lisa.
His new wife felt that it was their job as parents to have a say over what happened to it, but Rachel refused to give them access.
No Access Allowed
When Lisa’s children took over their half, they chose not to give access to their stepfamily. They warned Rachel that Lisa’s stepdaughter was already asking to be included in the business. She was the oldest and had asked Rachel before if she could be a manager and share her siblings’ portion of the business.
Welcome Them In
Lisa’s husband approached Rachel recently and asked her to allow his daughter to work in the restaurant and join the family business alongside his other children. He said that Rachel’s niece and nephew would benefit from forming a closer relationship with their half-siblings and that it would mean so much to his daughter to be welcomed in and made a part of everything.
Not Happening, Pal
Rachel refused and told him that it was not happening. He grew frustrated and accused Rachel of being a monster and interfering in his life after remarrying. He told her that she was doing nothing but encouraging ‘othering’ in his family and that it was unfair to punish him for moving on. Rachel told him that she was not punishing him and that his adult children had refused, and that was what he should focus on.
She also explained that his minor children were not her family and, therefore, were not entitled to have anything passed down from her. Lisa’s husband left after accusing Rachel of acting like she hates his kids.
Hurt and Confused
Rachel was left feeling hurt and confused. She had always been close to Lisa’s children and had promised to honor Lisa’s wishes for the business. She knew that Lisa would want her children to have control over their share and not have it taken away by their stepfamily.
Not Her Responsibility
Rachel also felt that it was not her responsibility to include Lisa’s stepdaughter in the business, especially since she had no connection to it before.
The Internet Responded
This commenter wrote, “Any judge could say your sister didn’t have the right to sign over her full share while she was married since half of her share could legally belong to him. The paper she signed could be disputed and it is at the judge’s discretion to do so. He could also be entitled to back pay for funds he should have been receiving. Get a lawyer. Quick.”
More Internet Comments
Another person commented, “It just shows your sister knew exactly the type of man her husband is that she ensured her children were protected long after she was gone. It’s very sad that their late mother is looking out for the children far more than their living father ever did.”
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