What should you consider?
Draw up a shareholders’ agreement setting out what you agree should happen to the shareholding on death. For example, it could provide for other shareholder(s) to have first option to buy it, with a means of calculating the price.”
“Also, consider the company’s Articles of Association. Many companies have Table A or model Articles and no prior consideration has been given to what should happen in the event of death. These can be amended to reflect the shareholders’ wishes to ensure that the business can continue to run without unnecessary issues at what would already be a very difficult time.”
Just doing those basics, says Alison, can head off damaging disputes down the line. But what if the feared dispute becomes reality?
She said: “Speak to a specialist to assess the legal position and see if there is a route through. Going to court is the absolute last option. It’s costly, disruptive and time-consuming, and is stressful at any time but especially following the death of a close colleague or family member.”
In summary, she emphasises: “Prevention is better than cure. At TBI we have specialist corporate and probate teams who can help you to plan for the worst. If a dispute arises, my team is experienced in both business and probate disputes and ideally placed to advise and assist in reaching a resolution or, in the worst case, preparing your case for trial”