In the event of my untimely death -- before getting the chance to retire and wind-up the Company myself -- what should I have in place to ease someone else having to do this?

I'm self-employed in the UK, through a Limited Company, currently with no other employees.

I'm thinking along the lines of whether I need to appoint "powers of attorney" or nominate an accountant; whether should this be part of my personal will ... or is something company specific required?

Edit: to clarify, I'm not after how to prepare my clients. I'm after advice to leave my spouse (or other will executor), to cover things like: getting monies out of the Company bank account, notifying tax authorities (VAT, PAYE, Inland Revenue), creditors, Companies House, etc..

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    It's good that you're planning! You might want to take a look at this question: freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/126/… Jun 4, 2013 at 15:37
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    @Chris, thanks for the link. I was thinking more of the non-Customer focussed items, so I'll update the question.
    – richaux
    Jun 4, 2013 at 15:57
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    thanks to @Andrew for helping indirectly via another [question]freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/568/…
    – richaux
    Jul 31, 2013 at 10:44
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    I disagree that this is a duplicate of the Bus question - that one focussed on business continuity from a client perspective, whereas this one is asking about the remains of the business and how to handle it (and the legal nicities that follow)... and the EDIT shows that emphasis - Vote to Reopen
    – Andrew
    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:32

2 Answers 2


The most important thing you can do is create a list for someone else to do. You could hand this to a loved one, a friendly competitor that you trust, and so forth. Your customers need to know they need to find someone else.

I have unfortunate experience coming about this on the other side, with customers contacting me for additional help after another consultant passed away, and other cases where technical contacts at customer's businesses passed away unexpectedly. Things which would have made it easier for me would have included:

  1. Some documentation to maximize continuity. It's somewhat disorienting to have to go through and reverse engineer what someone did who isn't around anymore. Having a general guide to what was done is immensely helpful.

  2. the consultant's perspective of where things are going. I can always get the customer's perspective but getting some documents from the deceased helps a lot.

Otherwise, in general this is not as big of an issue for customers as you might expect.

  • thanks for this ... although it is not the customers I was concerened about! ;) I was thinking more along the lines of having to appoint "powers of attorney" or nominating an accountant ... and should this be part of my personal will .. or something company focussed? I'll clarify the question.
    – richaux
    Jun 4, 2013 at 15:54

In the UK, you need to contact HMRC (link).

You can get an accountant to do this on your behalf (link), in which case you'd need to tee up your spouse/partner with your accountant's details.

Or your spouse/partner can speak to HMRC directly (link) or use the "Tell Us Once" service (link).

In terms of closing Bank Accounts, here's a snippet from Santander - How do I close an account?

It depends on what type of account this is. Mainly a Grant of Probate or a Small Estates Indemnity form is required. However, if it is a limited company or partnership then you will be contacted over what more is required of you.

So for a Limited Company, no further clarity beyond "contact the Bank".


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