In the Event of Death?


Seems like a grim title compared to others in the Business forum lol

Serious question though and I guess others are likely to be in a similar situation to myself...not that death is near!

I'm getting ready to be self employed and will be the sole trader and I thought, what would happen with my customers stuff if the worst was to happen? Insurance I presume is the answer but that is as far as I've got so far.

I'm going to be designing and managing websites for small to middle sized business's, will be registering domain names, hosting etc so I'm thinking that things could be quite complicated for people to sort out.

Has anyone got insurance to cover this? What to look out for?
If not insurance, are there any alternatives? Agreements with other companies?

Wow - that's thorough. Has a client asked you about this or are is it solely your concern? The question I'd ask would be around ownership of said material: if you own it, then they presumably have no rights to it anyway, and if they own it surely it's up to them to make sure they're equipped for the unexpected (or you to make sure it's available to them anyway)?

Unprofessional of me, I know, but, in the event of my death, I'll probably cease caring.
I'm with Dave - it's your clients' problem, not yours. It's them that would need to be insured.

With regard to things like hosting, where you might leave a company high and dry if you depart, then you might want to include something in your T&C's to cover you, ie
contact details of a third party (Bank, solicitor, family?).
It was the customer I was thinking of more than myself caring after I'm dead, coz no matter what comes next I don't think I'll care...

Potential customers might care though? Or maybe only the larger companies that take these things into consideration?

It would be the customers property, if I design a site I've kept a copy of the site and uploaded one to the server. I'm the only one with access to the server and currently I don't know anyone that I would trust that would be able to do anything on the server. Most of the sites are now going to be built on WordPress so I won't even have a simple zip file containing the whole site.

T's & C's ? is that where you have to scroll down past loads of boring writing to press the accept button before you get what you want? ;)

I was thinking that as I'm being honest about being a sole trader it would be good to say and have provisions for this. I'm going to be working from home and as I don't have much of a portfolio I'm going to be doing work to start with at almost no cost, but tying them into a contract so there's a guarantee of making some money later and I just starting thinking of reasons why potential customers might have a reason not to use my services.

X HTML developer? lol very creative!
Generally I would have thought that the domain is registered with the client? Therefore, it should be relatively straightforward for them to gain access to their domain details, but perhaps not the actual website files.

Would it not be best to create a managed area for each client (such as Plesk) and detail all of the login details in a database which you keep with a Solicitor, so that in the event of your demise, the solicitor could give each of the clients their own login details?

Not being a web wizard myself, there are probably other solutions. However, this seems like a fairly logical path. :icon_smile:
This reminds me. I must amend my T's & C's to include eventuality of death of said designer.

Honestly, I've never thought about this, let alone seen it anywhere else.
This has to be one of the most "out there" threads that I've ever seen on the forum. I'm creased reading it.
It's not even a funny subject, I've just never even given it a second though! Haha.
I think you should have your solicitor hand write out the html and post it to your client so they have a copy if you pop your clogs. Make sure they use a quill- quill's are cool.
I can't believe no one else has considered it :icon_smile:

Plesk looks interesting, can't say I understand what exactly it does yet though, even after playing with the demo.

I will be registering domains so you're right, as long as it's the customers details are associated to the domain they should be fine and I think it would have to go through solicitors for Power of Attorney if the domain was registered in my name but for a client.

I guess if others that are self employed haven't had the need to look into it, it's not something of concern.
Good point re bad debts! Though your executors/accountant will collect that in!

As the nearest to death* in the forum I shall just have artwork/html code/passwords etc on file and if my clients think to ask for it they can be emailed or sent it. Or they could all come to my funeral and collect it then. I shall, however, be outliving them all!

*That should read oldest
Kate, not entirely sure you win the prize for oldest here ;)

Like the idea of having clients collect at the funeral, LOL!
Having given this a bit more thought, I've decided to put a plan in place to make sure that all outstanding client debts will be settled (one way or another) before I die. To this end, my updated T&Cs now contain a 'before I finally turn the gun on myself' clause.