Are you the sole director or shareholder of a company? If so, do you have a Will?

You should be aware that if you are the sole director & shareholder of a company and die without a Will, the company will be unable to be managed for at least several months following your death. This may leave the company and any business it conducts, and any assets it owns, in a precipitous state.

The background to this is that section 201 of the Corporations Act 2001 allows the legal personal representative of a deceased director’s estate to appoint a replacement director of the company. If the deceased director had a Will then the executor named in their Will can readily and swiftly appoint a new director. However, if the deceased director had no Will then a family member would need to make application to the Probate Division of the Supreme Court for letters of administration and to be named as the legal personal representative of the deceased director. That process could take a number of months leaving the company in a situation where no material decisions can be taken on its behalf in the interim.

Therefore, if you are the sole director and shareholder of a company you certainly should have a Will in place.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.