Chapter 11. Your Business and Your Family

A few years ago, one of my aunts—who was then in her 90s—approached me at a family gathering. From the look on her face, I could tell she was furious. She proceeded to tell me exactly what was on her mind.

The story dated back to the early 1950s. Much of our family was then living in various units at a six-unit apartment house that had been in the family since the mid 1930s, and which my grandfather owned outright. Sometime around 1951, my grandfather transferred his ownership in the building to his three children, giving my father a 50 percent interest and each of my two aunts a 25 percent interest.

A half-century later, this perceived inequity was still eating away at my aunt. “It should have been equal, ...

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