What If I Die?

Oh no not another lockdown! 

Covid 19 has affected businesses in many different ways.  Some firms have had a huge upturn in their business and others have seen theirs drop off a cliff.  We have all had to face different challenges with this pandemic.  The number of deaths from the Coronavirus is horrific.

How has this affected what we do at Draper Hinks?

We have had a number of accountants contact us in the last few months who have faced their mortality and although they do not want to sell their accountancy practice just yet, they do want to discuss what should happen in the event that they die suddenly.   Most of these people are sole practitioners, with significant others that are not involved in the business.  It is a real worry to them that they may leave the headache of the disposal of their clients/ staff to a person close to them who is already dealing with their death.

In cases like these, where we have been instructed to sell a practice before the planned retirement date of the vendor, it would normally indicate that the remaining life partner will be relying on the funds raised from the sale to supplement their income.    Speed is of the essence here to maximise both the retention of the clients and to also maximise the payment received.

My advice in all of these situations is to follow these 3 simple steps:-

  • Talk to your significant other (normally spouse) and let them know you have been speaking to Draper Hinks about this eventuality.
  • Give them our details and say they are to contact us immediately should you become incapacitated or die.  It is important that we are given permission to deal with this as a matter of urgency or your clients will leave and there will be nothing left to sell. 
  • Tell them you have confirmed this in writing and have put your wishes in an envelope with your will – see the permission slip below.

Your instructions to be put with the will should be along the lines of :-

I, ………………………………, have spoken with Nicola Draper of Draper Hinks Ltd, who are business brokers and can organise the sale of my practice.  I have instructed her to sell my practice quickly in the event of my incapacity or death.  I am giving …………………………….  (significant other or spouse), permission to contact Nicola Draper so that she may find a buyer for my fees as a matter of urgency.  Nicola can be contacted on 01788 816440 or you can email her at n.draper@draperhinks.co.uk.  Nicola has sold practices under these circumstances before and will be able to give both help and guidance.

Signed…………………………………..                                    Dated……………………………..

I suggest that you print this short instruction, fill in the blanks, put it with your will. It does not need to be written into your will.  It will give comfort to those dealing with your estate, knowing they are carrying out your wishes.  Let’s hope it does not need to be used. 

We received the following comment from a widow, whose husband was a sole practitioner with a practice, office and staff.  He was very unwell and we were given 1 week to find a buyer:-

My husband sadly passed away on 2nd January 2021.  It has been a great relief to know that the clients are continuing to be taken care of. 

I transferred the practice over to the buyer over the Christmas period and he is doing a fantastic job of picking up from where my husband had left things.

Thank you for your prompt, professional, clear advice and for finding a buyer with such short notice.   

More people are aware of what could happen with the Coronavirus.  It is never a bad thing to be well prepared.  We have had to deal with a number of cases of bereavements and are very considerate and thoughtful.  But we are also mindful that things need to be put in place very quickly.    

If you want to talk about this in more detail then contact me, Nicola Draper on 01788 816440 or email me at n.draper@draperhinks.co.uk.    Don’t leave it until it is too late.