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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The sentimental sister

Dear Tito,

I am 60 years old and a retired military officer. During my military career, I was assigned in Mindanao. Our 2 children now have families of their own.

My wife is half Filipino and half Chinese. Her parents have been living in the Philippines for many years now. In fact, they have left her and her siblings with lots of properties, including money in the bank, before they died almost 2 years ago. My wife has 2 other younger sisters who are now successful in their chosen careers.

My problem with my wife's sisters began last year when they started pressuring my wife to sell all the properties and divide the proceeds among the 3 of them. My wife did not like the idea because the business is a legacy of their family. She also committed to manage the business, with the assurance that they would receive their share of the profit every year.

The other 2 sisters did not like the idea and kept pressuring my wife about selling the business and properties. Because of this, my wife's relationship towards her sisters has been damaged. Lately, they have not been on speaking terms and we heard from other relatives that they are planning to file a civil case.

We have sought a lawyer's advice on what to do with the situation. The lawyer only had one thing to say to us, we need to come to a compromise with the 2 other sisters who are still alive. My wife is very disgusted and hurt about the situation. She doesn't want to give up the business as she said it has a sentimental value.

Affected Husband

Dear Affected Husband,

Situations like this are not easy to handle especially when it involves family members. Probably what the lawyer advised you and your wife was the best legal remedy if ever things get worse. I hope not.

Why don't you advise your wife to set up a face-to-face meeting with her younger sisters and maybe bond for a while before they talk about the problem. I notice they have not been communicating lately and probably have not seen each other for a while.

If given a chance to spend time with each other, the 3 of them might release some tension and stress before they can talk about finding a common solution to their problem.

I am not against your wife's suggestion, indeed she's more on the cultural and traditional side but maybe the other sisters just want their share and move on with their lives.

Try to mediate and see if the communication line is still open.

Praying for you and your wife.




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