Just got this from my dad: One of my dad's friends, we'll call him Tony, is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. His father was very successful and owned a restaurant that was well-known in the community for several decades, which he wanted to leave to his two sons. Twenty years ago he offered them both the option of A) taking half ownership of the restaurant or B) taking the cash equivalent of half-ownership and starting their own businesses. Tony's little brother, Scott, took option A and took over the restaurant. Tony took option B, investing the cash his father gave him into landscaping business, which was something he was passionate about.
Over the next few years the brothers took very different paths.
Tony's landscaping business really took off and became very successful. He expanded his business, and diversified into several different businesses. Those businesses also did well, so he is financially very comfortable. He has shared this with his parents by making sure that all of their needs are taken care of, including buying them a house.
Scott did very little to improve upon/refresh the family restaurant and let it deteriorate into something you'd see on Kitchen Nightmares. It's still open, but it has lost the reputation it had and the clientele has gone elsewhere.
So has Scott decided to change his ways, make changes to the restaurant and pull himself out of this situation? HECK NO!
Scott has decided that since their parents gave Tony the money to open his first business, Scott deserves a portion of the money Tony has made off of that businesses and all subsequent businesses Tony opened. It was family money, he says, so the profits should be shared with family. He handed Tony a statement listing HIS estimate of how much Tony had made over the years and what he considered a "fair" percentage of Tony's earnings to hand over to Scott.
Tony's response was to laugh because he thought it was a joke. Scott persisted and then upped his estimated percentage based on his annoyance that Tony wouldn't pay immediately. Tony said no in a much more colorful way.
Now, Scott is suing Tony, trying to say that some estate law applies to the money their parents gave Tony twenty years ago. And he's trying to get his name on the deed of the house Tony bought their parents. AND when Hurricane Sandy destroyed Tony's vacation home, Scott insisted that a portion of the insurance payout should go to him. Because, of course, the parents' home and the vacation home, were bought with proceeds from Tony's business, so in Scott's mind, he's entitled to those as well.
Tony tried to talk this out with Scott, but now he's just closed his heart off to him and is letting the lawyers handle it. Scott insisting on part ownership of their parents house was just too much for Tony. Their parents are very angry with Scott, but won't cut off contact with him.
It's very sad.