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What Happens if an Owner of a Florida Business Dies Without a Buy-Sell Agreement?

Rarely, if ever, can someone predict when they will die.  Accidents, sudden illnesses and catastrophic events occur without any notice.

Practically speaking, when a shareholder, partner, member or owner of a Florida business dies without a buy-sell agreement having first been executed, the deceased owner's ownership interests pass according to the manner in which all of his/her other assets pass upon death. 

Our Tampa business attorneys and Tampa contract lawyers believe that if the deceased owner signed a last will and testament or a trust prior to dying, his/her ownership interests pass according to the provisions of the will or trust.  If, however, the deceased owner has neither a trust, nor a will, the owner is said to die intestate, and the deceased owner's ownership interests pass according to the intestacy laws of the state of Florida. 

In most instances when a deceased owner has a will or trust, his/her ownership interests pass to his/her spouse or children , much the same way a piece of jewelry or other possession is passed to the deceased's heirs, due to the fact that most individuals elect to pass their assets to a close family member.  However, in Florida, unlike real property that is deemed to be a spouse's Florida homestead, a surviving spouse has no right to an elective share of a business or ownership interest. 

Thus, our Tampa business attorneys and Tampa contract lawyers indicate that because a shareholder, partner, member or owner of a business can draft his last will and testament or trust any way he/she so chooses, said owner could theoretically leave his/her shares, partnership interests, membership interests or ownership interests to any person or entity he/she so chooses - including a spouse, minor child, mistress, university foundation, church, etc.

Ultimately, in order to avoid someday becoming a partner, co-shareholder, co-member or co-owner with a person or entity that you have no desire to co-own a business with, you absolutely must have a buy-sell agreement or some other agreement that contains buy-sell provisions.

The Tampa business attorneys and Tampa contract lawyers at Hyde Park Law commonly prepare buy-sell agreements (as well as shareholder agreements, partnership agreements and operating agreements) for businesses in Tampa, Florida while taking into account a business owner's desire to predetermine his / her future partners, managing members, shareholders and co-owners.

If you are in need of a Tampa business attorney, Tampa contract lawyer, Tampa lease lawyer or Tampa real estate attorney to review, negotiate or prepare your buy-sell agreement or contract, or to handle your business, real estate or commercial transaction, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Kevin DiTanna, Hyde Park Law, Tampa business attorneys, Tampa contract lawyers, Tampa real estate attorneys, Tampa lease lawyers, Tampa eviction attorneys