Q&As

If there is a family business owned solely by the deceased and the business passes to one beneficiary and there is still one staff member being employed (after death), is the beneficiary (as the new owner) responsible for making payment of ongoing wages, etc rather than the estate?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 01/06/2020

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If there is a family business owned solely by the deceased and the business passes to one beneficiary and there is still one staff member being employed (after death), is the beneficiary (as the new owner) responsible for making payment of ongoing wages, etc rather than the estate?

If there is a family business owned solely by the deceased and the business passes to one beneficiary and there is still one staff member being employed (after death), is the beneficiary (as the new owner) responsible for making payment of ongoing wages, etc rather than the estate?

Issues can often arise where a person operating a business dies. There can be problems with accessing the business bank accounts and difficulties in ensuring that staff wages and other outgoings are met. Much depends upon the nature of the business. If it is incorporated as a limited company, the business has its own legal personality and will have contracted directly with the staff members. The company therefore is responsible for paying the wages of the staff

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