Is anybody else here 50/50 partners with somebody in a business were you are the intellectual property? I don't wish this situation on anybody and will be the first admit that I created a big mess for myself.

So I run a web design business with my brother. We're 50/50 partners cause for some stupid reason eleven years ago when I didn't even have a few thousand to my name, he put up the cash to get the business off the ground by giving me the money I needed to register a domain, start up a website, buy some computers, etc.

He spent about $5K in total and the business now does over a $1/m per year.

The problem is he doesn't know the first thing about web design or even computers. and in those eleven years even teaching him to type was a struggle. He was working as a cook previously before any of this started and now he just handles administrative work like ordering supplies and paying bills because I think of much else he can do and almost anything else seems beyond his capabilities.

I pretty much have been the company's only marketing strategist, content specialist, head developer, main editor, you name it since day one. I really didn't think this business would blow up like it has and the whole 50/50 partner thing went from a necessity to a burden.

I been thinking a lot about what happens if I just loose it one day and we decide we can't work together? Or what if I get hit by a bus?

Now his attorney wants me to sign an agreement that if one of us gets killed or quits, the business is worth whatever millions and either of us would have to pay off the other or pay back their spouse that value.

Now we could also put this burden in the form of an insurance policy and let the corporation pay on it and that policy would handle the buy outs or whatever. With that setup, I wouldn't be on the fence for the money if he died or vice versa. The problem with that is it also forces me to commit to a contract and if I wanted to leave, with that paperwork signed, we would have to discuss a buyout and I know he would demand equal share which for me wouldn't be worth it.

Am I better off not signing anything and trapping myself into a commitment?

I think it's best we both get our own individual life insurance policies to protect our families and as much as this contract helps me, it hurts him.

Has anybody else been in this same boat? Any advice?