A post in the general discussion area has gotten me thinking. Question how you one man guy's have your business set up to carry on or finish up in the (God forbid) case that you would no longer be around to take care of it. Must admit that I have not done much other than to leave my wife out of my corporation but leave her on my bank accounts. I have an appointment with my attorney tomorrow and really question why he did not raise this issue when I started this business.
A lot depends on your state laws and how your business is set up. Your attorney is definately the person to talk to about ways to deal with this. I wouldn't be too hard on him or her for not bringing this up beforehand. Most people don't want to think about such things especially if they are young.
After rereading your question, one thing I would be sure to ask about is your wife's liability if she has signature authority for your companies bank accounts.
Speaking from personal experience- basically my wifes previous husband passed away. He had a construction corporation and she had signature authority for the checks and bank accounts. Apparently some state witholding and sales taxes went unpaid when the corporation was dissolved. To make a long story short she marries me a few years later and after 12 years they come after her personally for principal, interest and penalties. So now I'm helping to pay the debts of a person and company I had nothing to do with and didn't even know.
Only in America.
[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 11-30-2004).]
Hey guys and gals. Anonymous has a very good and very serious point. I worked for this guy where he and I was the whole crew. He unexpectantly died in the middle of a big project plus had several more lined up and suppliers to pay. His wife had to deal with it all. "Luckily" his brother was also a electrical contactor so he was able help some but she had to deal with a majority of it and the funeral and the lost of her husband...
I was in business as a sole owner, then I went into a sub chapter S corp, which was suppose to isolate me from the rest of the family, now around here everyone is becoming LLC companies. I believe it is for the Limited Liability, but being out of business, I am not sure what it entails.
Even as a one man or woman business and isolate the business from the family, your love ones still have to deal with it if you were to in expectantly pass on. Not only you have to protect the family from the business, you should have a plan in place to deal with the business after you are gone. At a minimum, keeping your love ones abreast on where everything is, how to access your businesss affairs, etc.
OK, so to the current activity on this 9 year old thread...
My wife and daughter had access to the EC business records, customer data base, payroll, checkbook, etc. for many years.
I laso was one who changed ownership to an LLC, based on info from my lawyer and accountant. The structure of the LLC would leave my wife &/or daughter as the principal member in my demise. Liquidation procedures were spelled out, along with approved procedure to complete any/all work that was 'in-progress', compliant to stste licensure regs.
As to the OP back 9+ years ago, I doubt he is around to read any of this.
Legal requirements for operation of any business varies from state to state, so I suggest contacting a local, trusted lawyer and accountant.
Oh Wow! I didn't see that this post was so old. I am sorry to bring up an old subject. Maybe we should have an OLD POST column where these old posts can go to live on forever? However maybe some of these old questions might still fit todays life style?