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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Protect your business with Lasting Powers of Attorney

We are all getting older, there is no escaping it. Better health and healthcare mean that we are all living longer lives. Whilst more birthday cake is no bad thing there is some less welcome news for you.

In living longer we are all becoming ever more likely to have a period of physical or mental incapacity at some stage in our lives during which we will not be able to make decisions for ourselves.

Be prepared and don’t let your business suffer the consequences.

Having something in place which delegates decision-making powers to someone else can become invaluable to your business when you are not present or unable to make business decisions.

Lasting Powers of Attorney allow someone else, known as your Attorney, to make decisions and do things on your behalf.

You could appoint one of your business partners or a particular family member who knows the business well to act as your Attorney, or a trusted advisor.

Once the Lasting Powers of Attorney is registered your Attorney will be able to deal with your affairs and make decisions about your business as if they actually spoke with your voice.

Whether you are unable to participate in the running of your business because of working overseas, a stay in a hospital or the onset of physical or mental infirmity, Lasting Powers of Attorney can help you.

In business we should all hope for the best but plan for the worst.

I’m in good health, why do I need to get one sorted now?

Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be drawn up for people who still have mental capacity to make decisions.

Being unconscious after an accident or suffering with dementia will mean it is already too late and your affairs may not be dealt with as you would wish.

You need to have a Lasting Power of Attorney drafted whilst you still have capacity to determine what happens to you and those same assets and interests when you, for whatever reason, are unable to act for yourself.

So what happens if I don’t have these Lasting Powers of Attorney drawn up and something happens to me and decisions need to be made about me and/or my assets?

There is a problem as you have no say. Disputes may arise between your partners as to the best way of dealing with the business in your absence and quorum requirements may not be able to be satisfied with regard to board members voting.

Can these Lasting Powers of Attorney be tailored so that I am just delegating my decision-making powers in relation to my business to a certain person?

Yes. Through the use of restrictions, conditions and guidance in the Lasting Powers you can limit your chosen Attorney’s power.

How do I get Lasting Powers of Attorney put in place?

You need to see a solicitor, preferably a specialist who is a Trust & Estate Practitioner.

It will take only a few hours of your time giving instructions, and it takes about six weeks from first meeting to registration of the LPA.

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