What are my rights as part owner in a small business when my partner died before paperwork was in place as to his portion of the business?

We do not show a profit for this year as we were trying an expansion, however we do have some equipment and tools used in the business. My business partner’s sister seems to feel entitled to everything and I am curious what my rights are. They were not close, only saw each other three times in twenty years and she had no part of this business. Do I have rights or not?

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the business was run under a corporation or limited liability company, you need to carefully read the bylaws of the corporation or the operating agreement of the limited liability company in that these documents will set forth how the apportionment and allocation fo business assets are to be handled.

If the business was not an entity, the estate of your business partner needs to be closed out and his share of the partnership included in the inventory of the estate. The sister is not entitled to the brother's share as a matter of course.

I recommend that you consult with a business attorney experienced in Wills and trusts.

Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.