15 November 2017: On two occasions in the past twelve months, accountants known to BRI have contacted us to ask if we could assist a family that is dealing with not only the failure of their company but also the loss of a loved one who had also been the driving force behind the business.
Although the businesses were very different, the challenges facing BRI were similar and included a need to ensure that while dealing with the company failures in a professional manner and ensuring that creditors’ interest were at the forefront of the process, consideration was also given to the family members’ grief.
The untimely death of a director/shareholder can cause many unexpected complications for a business, such as the ability to hold a quorate board or shareholder meeting or having a valid signatory on the bank account. Dealing with such issues is an extra burden on those left behind but with a little care in respect of the company’s articles and some forward thinking as regards the provision of a sufficient power of attorney, such issues can be properly managed.
Yes business matters matter and yes the concerns of creditors of failing companies are never to be taken lightly. However, where it is also possible to ‘handle with care’ those who need our sympathetic support and guidance through a difficult period, the situation need not be turned from a drama into a crisis. We are pleased to say that the feedback we have received in these two instances suggest that this has been achieved as it allowed the families to turn their focus to the more important matter of coming to terms with their loss without incurring the wrath of creditors (who, on the whole, responded well to our straightforward and pragmatic approach).
Thankfully most company failures do not involve the passing of a key staff member but, whatever the circumstances, you can be assured that BRI will act with understanding and compassion.