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Sole trader death and debt liability

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  • Sole trader death and debt liability

    Hi Iíve been searching the forums this morning but Iíve found lots of helpful stuff but I was wondering if someone could advise on the following situation.

    My father in law died last week. He was a sole trader operating as a franchisee in the sign business. He employed my wife as an employee however she has full signing authority on the bank account and is also named alongside him in the franchise agreement. There is no will.

    The business was not in good shape and although he left substantial money in a house and bank account these were joint with his wife so I believe these are not part of the estate. Therefore his actual estate will not be able to cover the bank overdraft and other debts at time of death (around 20k debt and likely a 8-10k shortfall).

    My wife does not want to continue the business but is worried sick that the franchisor can hold her liability for debt owed to them and perhaps all of the business debt. Is this the case or does her being an employee prevent this from happening?
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  • #2
    Hi Ajohns82,
    Sorry to hear of the issue you have currently. I would think the wording of the franchise agreement will be relevant here. Can you post any sections dealing with death and debt of the franchisee (without any identifying names or addresses of course) Hopefully we can then point you in the right direction.
    I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


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