Landlord in hospital - family business continuity

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    Landlord in hospital - family business continuity

    I am trying to help a family. (and perhaps a a warning to those landlord who say property is their pension!).

    The father ran a business, which he sold when he retired. He re-invested the proceeds in property. He has a property portfolio which he incorporated into a limited company. There are three property companies. The first one is jointly between their mother and father. The second company has him and one child as shareholder. The third company is with him and a second child as shareholder. There are other companies, but these for holding the Freeholds.

    The father managed those companies. He loved working and keeping busy. Business was his life.

    Their father is seriously ill hospital and not in a position to help manage or pick up phone calls. The family is trying to muddle through. Builders to be paid, check rents coming in, pay mortgages.... They have access to the company bank accounts, but they are not named on the bank account. They can access the company bank accounts (via online), but only by logging in using their father's login details. They don't have their own bank card or login details (how do they get this done?).

    If their father passes away. The limited companies has only the father's signature on banks. Would the bank block those company accounts, if he happens to pass away?

    The family told me some banks require OTP for payments. Their father has his phone with him. Also, some money is in long savings account, which are only accessible online and with mobile confirmation.

    They are worried, as they need to pay corporation tax, but they may need to check if they have enough money in the current accounts. As their father would often chase best interest rates and put them in online saving account (which need mobile confirmation).

    Should they pay the corporation tax right now (if they can locate the money), whilst he is still alive. Or is the change over quick at the banks?


    The family is in total breakdown due to the father being in hospital, but they have to deal with a property business etc... and ensure mortgage payments don't bounce.


    However, I don't think their father made plans for IHT (if the worse did happen).

    I can help them with basic such as help organise builders and gas checks.....



    What would be the next steps for them? What would people advise, so I can pass it on to them.

    #2
    First of all the banks would put a freeze on his bank accounts as soon as they are notified that he has died, unless there is a named person they would not be able to get access until probate or the executors have been instructed (if there was a will). The best thing at the moment is probably add named people onto the bank account(s), this could be done online depending on the app or online facilities, as then the accounts can still be accessed in the event of death by the other named person.

    Tax man is the main person to worry about as whatever happens they always get their money...... so pay it instalments rather than lump sum if funds are not available currently.

    If possible try and get all the passwords etc from the person, if not, they need to go through any available paperwork to see what he has and doesn't have. There is a website which you can do online to find all lost bank accounts, NS&I etc.

    Hopefully the person has made a will, I would try and locate this as a priority, any joint accounts (wife and husband) will still be accessible.

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      #3
      I cannot answer all of it but the banking side i may be able to shed some light, if he passes away then the bank are duty bound to stop all activity on the accounts if he is the only signatory, a Ltd company is looked upon in a similar way as a person, if he is the sole director and only signatory then a member of the family needs to go into the bank and speak with the staff and explain the situation, Has he a will ? If he dies without one then it gets even more of a nightmare, let us hope he does, if so then going into the bank with the death certificate and the will (with ID for the person going in) can ensure that the accounts can be accessed if the person going in is the executor or NOK.

      In a past life i worked in a corporate bank and i was amazed at how many people did not even contemplate ill health or death, and had nothing in place for how their NOK would deal with the aftermath. The banks business manager should be able to offer some guidance.

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        #4
        If the father passes away all his accounts will be probably be frozen, so no money in and no money out

        this sounds like a disaster about to happen whether the father improves or dies

        Who is the fathers accountant ?

        change is required asap

        the family need advice and fast, but who from? An accountant probably and a solicitor too

        as the businesses have 2nd owners or is that directors , why aren’t they on the bank accounts ?

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          #5
          Speaking from very recent personal experience and hope that people take note of this as its extremely relevant to many families.

          My brother died suddenly and unexpectedly in July. Not married, no children - so I'm his NOK - and a visit from the police at 3am delivered the sad news

          No passwords, no access to mobile phone, laptop or computer. Very few recent paper records of ANY bills or financial records.

          Bank account locked - so we had to pick up all the funeral costs and running his house

          After about 3 weeks we'd located the will and by a huge stroke of luck I'd guessed his mobile phone password - so got access to his email - and could see all the emails chasing payments / replacement direct debits - so I knew then who to contact. Over the next few weeks more letters appeared so preparing a summary of his assets took time as some of the organisations dragged their feet big time.

          Then I had to get the IHT forms submitted to HMRC, (if there's IHT to pay you have to pay this before you can apply for probate) and after that applied for probate - which hasn't been granted yet.

          A total nightmare on top of losing my only sibling - but at least he had a will!

          So now the house is under offer and fingers crossed the probate will be granted as exchange of contracts can't happen without it.

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