Mark’s conclusion from an enormous family-business fight in his extended family led him to conclude that “Family business fights are terrible.” Mark is a lawyer in a midwestern city and has extensive experience with families caught up in fighting over business assets. He continues:
“The whole nasty experience [in my family] has taught me a few things that have proven useful in my work. And because of all the publicity over my family’s litigation, I tend to attract a lot of clients who are caught up in family business struggles. One thing I have learned is that very few family business disputes are ever about money. [Emphasis added] Money is what makes the warfare possible. The underlying motivation is: ‘I’m gonna make you do what I want you to do!’ Sometimes it gets even worse than that. Sometimes it’s: ‘Im gonna figure out a way that you can’t do what you want, just to show you who’s boss!’ ”
Please look for Part 3 of this account about multi-generational struggles over family businesses in the coming days.
Barbara Blouin, Labors of Love: The Legacy of Inherited Wealth, Book II, Inheritance Project