We have, for many years, been advising our clients that it is important to put in place Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, and we continue to do so.
There is however, now a growing trend for business owners to make a separate ‘commercial’ Lasting Power of Attorney to cover their business interests. There is much merit in considering this.
Are you a business owner?
Have you considered what may happen to your business if you become incapable of running it?
Too often, clients associate mental incapacity with illnesses which exclusively afflict the elderly. In fact, a person can become incapacitated for an abundance of reasons. The condition may not be permanent. However, the damage to your business may be disastrous if you are out of action for even a few weeks.
Contracts may go unsigned. Suppliers and staff may not be paid. Your views may not be put forward in negotiations with your fellow partners or directors.
You could find that the business you worked so hard to build is unrecognisable, or has even ceased to exist, when you do return.
If the thought of this unsettles you, it is time you considered a Lasting Power of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) for Property and Financial Affairs is a document which everybody should think about having prepared, regardless of whether they have business interests.
It is the only document by which you can appoint the people you trust to look after your financial affairs, should you become mentally incapable of managing them yourself in the future. You can also authorise your attorneys to act if you are unable to make key decisions for any other reason, for example because you are stranded abroad.
A “commercial” LPA can be drafted exclusively to cover your business interests. Under it, you should appoint the person or people most familiar with, and capable of, looking after these interests. This may not necessarily be the same people you wish to take care of your personal affairs.
An LPA is effectively a form of insurance. Statistics show that one in six of us will be forced to take time off work at some point due to mental health issues alone. It is important that this risk is not ignored. Take the first step towards protecting your future today.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this briefing note, please contact Helen Milburn, Solicitor in our private client department on 01642 873050 or email email@example.com.