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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am self employed and a Sole Trader. Business has been badly

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I am self employed and a Sole Trader. Business has been badly affected by the recession and clients not paying me. Some of whom declared bankruptcy. I have approximately £40,000 worth of debt between my bank overdraft (£8500) and the rat with credit cards. I am 67 years old on my next birthday (April 2016) and want to stop work the same month. My wife is 68 years old and suffered ill health for several years now and for her sake I need to stop to look after her. I have a small pension pot which will probably net me around £40,000 lump sum after tax. I also have a mortgage 0f £33300 and have an endowment policy that will clear it with very little residue. Is there any way I can protect my pension pot for our retirement. I intend selling my house and down sizing but have no idea how much I will realise from the sale.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am prepared to wait until wednesday 5th january. If you cannot answer the question, please refund my money.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland. I am sorry that your question has only just reached me.
As a sole trader you will know that you are personally liable for your debts. As you want to retire you have to be able to pay off all of your business debts before doing so, assuming you aren't intending to sell your business as a going concern. If you are simply going to cease trading you have to pay off all of your debts. If you don't and your creditors pursue you, your business and personal assets at at risk. That includes your pension because if you are made bankrupt, a trustee in bankruptcy can get your pension and use it to repay creditors.
I suggest that you try to put together a schedule of assets and liabilities. Get a valuation of your hous from a few estate agents in your area on the basis that you are downsizing. It won't cost you anything and it will let you know what price you would expect for your house. Add up your other assets such as the endowment and the liabilities both personal and business. Again that will give you an indication on what you can expect in the future.
Suffice to say the answer to your question is that you can't ring fence your pension for retirement of you can't pay off your creditors. I'm sorry if that isn't what you want to hear but that is the legal position. Happy to discuss further.
I hope that gives you some help.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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