I am in need of desperate help and advice

17 replies
I posted this in the offline section as that the section I read 90% of the time so please forgive me for posting this here as well but I am at a loss right now.

My partner and best friend for the past 15 years past away last night with a massive heart attack. He lived on the west cost I live in Ill . our merchant account was set up in his name for reasons .We have several clients that are on recurring payment but chance are most likely I will NOT have access to the funds .account etc as my name is not on it ( was going thru a nasty divorce and did not want company to be part of the proceedings



Anyway I don’t know if anyone has any past experience with anything similar to this partnership break up ,death etc but Any help suggestions I will be grateful on possible paths to take.

We were a LLC under etraffic corporation (name) Does anyone know if it would be it best to contact all the client and change the name? or even how to approach this sadly I wasx the tech guy he was the banker side .We made a good team ..right now I am at a loss in more ways that I can think.
I do not have the ability to get a merchant account in my name ( due again to nasty divorce) we have used 99% CC billing in the past few years but does anyone have any alternative check solutions that are simply to set up but does not require a credit check (due to reasons stated)

any help I would be grateful
#advice #desperate
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Contact all your clients first and maybe post in the JV section or approach someone you know and trust and get yourself another partner who can do what your partner was doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Originally Posted by mike_lucas View Post

    I posted this in the offline section as that the section I read 90% of the time so please forgive me for posting this here as well but I am at a loss right now.

    My partner and best friend for the past 15 years past away last night with a massive heart attack. He lived on the west cost I live in Ill .
    Wow. Sorry for the loss.



    our merchant account was set up in his name for reasons .We have several clients that are on recurring payment but chance are most likely I will NOT have access to the funds .account etc as my name is not on it ( was going thru a nasty divorce and did not want company to be part of the proceedings
    Did your partner have family living there who might be able to decipher notes made?

    Anyway I don't know if anyone has any past experience with anything similar to this partnership break up ,death etc but Any help suggestions I will be grateful on possible paths to take.

    We were a LLC under etraffic corporation (name) Does anyone know if it would be it best to contact all the client and change the name? or even how to approach this sadly I wasx the tech guy he was the banker side .We made a good team ..right now I am at a loss in more ways that I can think.
    I do not have the ability to get a merchant account in my name ( due again to nasty divorce) we have used 99% CC billing in the past few years but does anyone have any alternative check solutions that are simply to set up but does not require a credit check (due to reasons stated)

    any help I would be grateful
    I'm with Suzanne - if you can find someone to take over the tasks your partner did that will be your best solution.

    If you're the tech person, I'd consider putting a note up/blog post about what has happened as to alert people there may be some changes coming.

    Definitely contact all the current clients.

    Take time to figure out everything you want to say.

    You're going to likely want to chat with a lawyer and your accountant as well.

    As far as setting up an account to receive funds - what about Paypal or something similar? You can use any simple bank account (to give you some time). Not a permanent solution, but might hold you over until you can get things sorted out.
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    • Profile picture of the author mike_lucas
      yea thanks trying to find a post that I read a while back about using checks and some easy software that a few used here but cannot find it... but search for a few hours.

      thanks for the input
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        We were a LLC under etraffic corporation (name) Does anyone know if it would be it best to contact all the client and change the name?
        Are you named on the LLC? I think you need to talk to a lawyer right away to see what, if any, rights you have. Did you and your partner a contract between the two of you?

        I would contact the clients but as a "holding measure" letting them know what has occurred and that further details will be forthcoming. Do the clients know you - or has everything been done under your partner's name?

        Sorry for the loss of your friend - I hope it isn't also the loss of your business. Get legal advice quickly.

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
          Not to be rude or without compassion, but this sounds VERY fishy to me. First of all, most people that partner in business "should" have things in place in the event that something like this happens. You should have some type of legal documentation like a limited power of attorney that would allow you to conduct day to day operations like fulfilling orders, paying operational expenses, paying YOURSELF, paying HIS family, etc. It just makes no sense at all that you don't.

          I went through a nasty divorce a few years ago too, have some credit "dings" and have still been able to set up four merchant accounts over the past 12 years, including one last June. There are even places that will allow you to process credit cards on a month-to-month basis with no long term contract. You may pay a little more, but at least you can still do business.

          Also, you said "We were a LLC under etraffic corporation". So were you an LLC or a corporation? These are two separate entities. An LLC offers many of the benefits of a corporation, but it's not one, it's a Limited Liability Company.

          If what you're saying is true and you don't have your name listed anywhere where you can prove that you have rights to operate the business, rights to the assets, etc, I'd say you're screwed.

          Does your deceased partner have a spouse or other family member that's aware of the situation, can attest to your rights and can take over your partner's affairs, at least until orders can be fulfilled and a decision can be made on the future of the business?

          I'm sorry, but this seems very odd to me.

          Good luck.
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          • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
            Nah, there's nothing odd about this situation.

            The good news is that this was set up as an LLC. This means that the merchant processing likely was setup for the LLC, and not your partner.

            I assume that since he's passed away, you take over as the sole remaining member of the LLC. And if you aren't a member of the LLC, you could be seriously screwed. That would mean that the LLC becomes a part of his estate, and subject to probate, and settling the will, etc.

            I'm not a lawyer so you should talk to one by all means. However, if all business was conducted via the LLC, and you are a member of that LLC, then there should only be minor disruptions.

            Tom
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            • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
              Originally Posted by Talltom1 View Post

              Nah, there's nothing odd about this situation.

              The good news is that this was set up as an LLC. This means that the merchant processing likely was setup for the LLC, and not your partner.

              I assume that since he's passed away, you take over as the sole remaining member of the LLC. And if you aren't a member of the LLC, you could be seriously screwed. That would mean that the LLC becomes a part of his estate, and subject to probate, and settling the will, etc.

              I'm not a lawyer so you should talk to one by all means. However, if all business was conducted via the LLC, and you are a member of that LLC, then there should only be minor disruptions.

              Tom
              I have to respectfully disagree, Tom. If he didn't have something in place stating that he was part owner of that business then his "partner" could have taken him to the cleaners while he was still alive and there's not much that could be done about it then, if anything.

              The first rules of business are to have an exit plan and to cover your assets. I didn't see anything like that happening here.

              I'm not an attorney either but this was either really dumb, irresponsible or both. Especially if there are others that will be hurt by the loss.

              Anyway, I've said enough. As I said before, good luck. That's being sincere. If your story really is true then this is going to be a tough lesson. I got wiped out during the recession, so I can feel a certain measure of your pain. Ours was from lack of business, though, nothing like yours.
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          • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
            OOoo Mike, I'm so sorry about your loss of a friends and business associate. You mentioned partner. An LLC and a partnership are different.

            You do need a lawyer with a business-law and an estate-law background PDQ, both to protect yourself, and to help you pick the best course of action. If you try guessing what to do, or if you take legal advice from those who are not attorneys, you could dig yourself into a deeper hole.

            Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

            Not to be rude or without compassion, but this sounds VERY fishy to me. First of all, most people that partner in business "should" have things in place in the event that something like this happens. You should have some type of legal documentation like a limited power of attorney that would allow you to conduct day to day operations like fulfilling orders, paying operational expenses, paying YOURSELF, paying HIS family, etc. It just makes no sense at all that you don't.
            This doesn't sound fishy at all. Joe, you are right it "should be done with "things" in place, but much of the time, if not most of the time, business is setup without the advice of a lawyer and/or an accountant. Later, when a problem develops, the lawyers and accounts are needed to straighten out the mess.

            My favorite attorney (wife) tells me she, and others in their profession generate a large amount of billable hours while straightening out problems after the fact, because people didn't consult with an attorney before taking some action - like starting a business. It is very common.

            :-Don
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            • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
              Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post

              OOoo Mike, I'm so sorry about your loss of a friends and business associate. You mentioned partner. An LLC and a partnership are different.

              You do need a lawyer with a business-law and an estate-law background PDQ, both to protect yourself, and to help you pick the best course of action. If you try guessing what to do, or if you take legal advice from those who are not attorneys, you could dig yourself into a deeper hole.



              This doesn't sound fishy at all. Joe, you are right it "should be done with "things" in place, but much of the time, if not most of the time, business is setup without the advice of a lawyer and/or an accountant. Later, when a problem develops, the lawyers and accounts are needed to straighten out the mess.

              My favorite attorney (wife) tells me she, and others in their profession generate a large amount of billable hours while straightening out problems after the fact, because people didn't consult with an attorney before taking some action - like starting a business. It is very common.

              :-Don
              I guess I just assumed that everyone should know these things. If nothing else this is a lesson learned for anyone reading this.

              Something else that has to be taken into consideration is splitting the profits after a partner passes away. If one partner is now doing double work or if someone else must be hired to come in and takeover that position, does the living partner have to foot the bill or do double duty while still giving half the proceeds to the deceased partner's estate?

              Once again, I sincerely wish him well.
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              • Profile picture of the author mike_lucas
                Thankf for all the comments and suggestions. I knew dan for 15 years was like a brother. So when we started this a few years back he formed the LLC I assume I am listed a a officer of some type.

                Yes I was naive not that I did not trust him but that something like this could happen, I always thought about it but then always put it off on checking out the details, there was always "tomorrow"..."next week"... "go to get that done soon" the typical admin stuff that I always disdained and he always dealt with.

                Yes my business is a risk now without doubt ,but it will be even hard to replace his trusted friendship

                Thanks for all the advice just a bit rough right now,again thanks
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                • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
                  Originally Posted by mike_lucas View Post

                  Thankf for all the comments and suggestions. I knew dan for 15 years was like a brother. So when we started this a few years back he formed the LLC I assume I am listed a a officer of some type.

                  Yes I was naive not that I did not trust him but that something like this could happen, I always thought about it but then always put it off on checking out the details, there was always "tomorrow"..."next week"... "go to get that done soon" the typical admin stuff that I always disdained and he always dealt with.

                  Yes my business is a risk now without doubt ,but it will be even hard to replace his trusted friendship

                  Thanks for all the advice just a bit rough right now,again thanks

                  Mike,

                  First of all, I apologize for sounding so harsh. I've had to learn a few things the hard way myself over the years and I guess I just expect everyone to know certain things. Also, there seem to be so many "hard luck" stories on here it's hard to determine who's being genuine and who's not.

                  I agree 100% with others about getting an attorney.

                  Was your partner married? If so, do you know his wife? If she has the same integrity as your friend did then you shouldn't have to be concerned about receiving what's rightfully yours. Also, do you know if your friend had a Living Will? You need to find these things out as soon as possible.

                  One thing that you might NOT want to do just yet is contact your customers. The reason is because you don't want to come forward and say "I'm the co-owner and I promise to take care of you", but then have things fall through and you not get your rightful share. They'd be angry, they'd have your name and you would have admitted liability. I'd want to consult an attorney first and, if your friend was married, get something IN WRITING from his wife stating that you are 50% owner before doing anything. THEN contact everyone and try to straighten things out.

                  You never know exactly how people are going to react where money is concerned. She'll also be in mourning and under an enormous amount of stress, etc so there's no way to really know how she'd react right now.

                  Bottom line - get an attorney.

                  I wish you the best.

                  Joe
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                  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
                    Mike -

                    I've read both threads and it may not be as dire (business wise) as one might think. You have the ability to carry on for your friend's family so if you are as close to them as you say it may only be a matter of time to get things running again.

                    I agree that I wouldn't rush to alert customers or make any broad statements. If possible, keep it business as usual until you can discuss the future with your friend's family.

                    Good luck to you. If you do proceed with the business, put things in writing!
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                    • Profile picture of the author mike_lucas
                      Again I want to thank everyone for the help and suggestions. Its been on many fronts very draining besides the business issues. the past few days .

                      I want to give a huge Thank you to Iamnameless he sent me a pm and gave me the name of the software and info that I really need to move forward business side of the house. I am very grateful for that help is lifts a huge burden off of me.

                      Again thanks to all of the warrior for the help and suggestions.

                      I have not give a lot of advice back to the community here but if there is one thing
                      that is you are working with a partner and I have for a while and I had a great experience, I would never ever trade that for anything. the last 5 years has been some of the best in my life business side .that being said life is seems can be short and well you need to make sure even when it seems so unlikely that something can happen, plan for it .... don't wait, "till tomorrow" as you may one morning with a phone call that it's to late ....

                      This goes for family matters and business
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    If your name was not there on those papers then there is not much you can do.

    You can contact your current clients and ask them to re-register with a new account so that funds do go to you.

    That is what I would do.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You might want to try out acceptsafe.com for applying for a merchant account. They make it very easy to get one even if you don't have perfect credit. Definitely worth a shot for you and the getting set up is pretty quick.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Get A Lawyer!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Draper
    At least maybe you can check if your a member through the state he filed the llc business at the state gov site online. I know here in Michigan I can view on the Michigan(dot) gov site the llc docs (Articles of Organization) to view the members of an llc business. gl
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