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Liquidating a company with no assets at death

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Losing a partner or a spouse is traumatic enough, but being unprepared for the practical financial realities of death can make it all the more devastating. The only thing that can be said for the process of winding up an estate is that it follows a predictable pattern, so you can put plans in place that will make life - if not death - easier to handle.

See table here for a breakdown of the estate administration process. Death is a mystery, but sometimes it seems no more so than the process of estate administration that kicks in immediately afterwards.

While words such as "estate" and "executor" sound dauntingly formal and distant from the trauma of death, the sequence of events is laid down in law Liquidating a company with no assets at death the process should be reasonably straightforward in the hands of a professional. The executor is the key person in this process, responsible for managing it professionally and efficiently, Graham McPherson, the managing director of Trust Services at First National Bank and the chairperson of the Association of Trust Companies, says.

The executor could be an individual, such as a family member, or a company, such as a bank or trust company, Mandy Dix-Peek, a lawyer and a director of Fairheads International Trust Company, says.

Or it could be both: Hopefully, Dix-Peek says, it is or includes someone known, trusted and familiar with the family's circumstances. An executor is entitled by law to a maximum fee Liquidating a company with no assets at death 3. If there is more than one executor, they have to share the fee. The entire administration process is supervised and validated by the Master of the High Court to ensure that the rights of the beneficiaries are protected.