Protecting you, protecting your business
Safeguarding the financial future of your business with a Business Lasting Power of Attorney is a sound business move and one which is becoming far more commonplace in workplaces across the UK today, according to Partner and Head of the Wills, Trusts & Probate Team, Michelle Gavin.
Whether you are a business owner, director, partner or sole trader, it's hugely important to consider what might happen to your business in the instance that you may become unable to work or competently run your business, be it through illness or injury.
An unforeseen, sudden illness such as a heart attack or stroke or having an accident and being left in a coma will affect your ability to make your own decisions. Accessing someone's finances in these situations is often a complex and protracted process if there is no Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place - which could make the smooth running of your business very difficult, not to mention the impact it might have on the financial security of your loved ones.
Without a LPA, nobody can immediately step into your shoes, manage your business and make important decisions which still need to be made in your absence. Essential tasks such as paying suppliers, signing documents or cheques and other financial matters simply cannot be dealt with.
Michelle said: "Sadly, an increasing number of people are now being affected by life-changing conditions during their lifetime, which is why it's so important for business owners and home owners to plan ahead now while they are able to make fully-informed decisions.
"While arranging a will is widely recognised as making provision for where your assets will go upon death, it doesn't cover instances where an individual loses the ability to make informed decisions.
"Therefore it is important to think about appointing somebody you trust to make important decisions about your life in the eventuality that you'll no longer be able to do so.
"This is called a Lasting Power of Attorney, and can cover your health and welfare, as well as property and financial matters.
"If somebody were to lose mental capacity and they did not have an LPA, a 'Deputy' would need to apply to the Court of Protection, which requires detailed information and can be a long, drawn out and expensive process, which could ultimately have a hugely detrimental impact on a business or your assets.
"A lot of people associate LPAs with older people, but they should really be considered while people are mentally fit and well because you are then able to choose the right people you trust to deal with your overall welfare, which will safeguard family wealth for future generations. You also never know what the future holds."