Company Secretarial

Learn about ASIC's corporate compliance requirements and how we can help.

Does a sole director and sole shareholder of a company need a will?

It’s advisable for everyone to have a will. If you’re a sole director and sole shareholder of a company, according to ASIC, you should have a will. It’s recommended that within the will you make provision for who is the beneficiary or beneficiaries of your shares if the sole director/shareholder dies.

If you are a sole director and sole shareholder of a company and do not have a will outlining what happens in the event of your death, it’s possible that a close relative or other such person would have to apply to the Supreme Court for letters of administration to manage the estate and this could take some time - possibly weeks, if not months.

Alternatively, in the absence of any immediate relatives or other obvious people to deal with the estate, a Public Trustee may step in and administer the deceased estate, but this process can also take months. During that period when there is no director, the company may be unable to operate and with no-one properly authorised to make management decisions or act for the company, it may be unable to trade.

Banks and other financial institutions in particular may be unwilling to accept instructions in relation to a company’s trading account if they are not satisfied there is someone properly authorised to act for it. This may result in staff and suppliers unable to be paid, which can quickly have a harmful effect on the reputation and value of the company. 

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