Making a Business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Here at Hodge Jones & Allen we advise clients of the advantages and peace of mind that comes when they have put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney Documents (LPA)’s for their personal affairs.
We discuss with clients who are making Wills the benefits of putting LPA’s in place much earlier in life then they usually would to deal with their Property and Finances and Health and Care decisions. LPA’s provide protection to them and their loved ones if a time should come in the future where they are mentally or physically incapable of making such decisions for themselves. Attorney/s of their choice, whom they trust, can step in, even temporarily to deal with the payment of bills, property matters, banks, investments and income tax matters.
If they cannot make decisions regarding their care, the Attorney/s can make decisions in respect of their daily routine such as washing, dressing, eating, medical care and moving into a care home or rehabilitation, if needed. This can provide vital help to the Donor of the LPA’s and their dependents at such a time and means that important decisions can be undertaken quickly and in their best interests.
The relatives of someone who has experienced sudden incapacity because of an illness such as a stroke or accident often approach us at this difficult time. In these circumstances if an LPA has not been put in place the only option is for someone who needs to deal with the persons affairs to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as their Deputy. This course of action is lengthy and expensive and could have been avoided if the person had made an LPA. Making an LPA in respect of Property and Finances is particularly important for business affairs and we find is often overlooked in practice.
Business Lasting Power of Attorney
These are important to consider if you are a business owner, as if you are rendered incapable through illness or accident of dealing with your business affairs this can have a detrimental effect on the business. If a business LPA has not been made a Deputy will need to be appointed through an application to the Court of Protection. During the wait for a Deputyship order many important decisions cannot be made such as transactions, accessing bank accounts, paying staff and suppliers, and entering into new contracts, A Deputyship order quite often results in a person who you would not have intended or chosen to deal with your business affairs being appointed. They may have no day- to -day knowledge of your business and may be unsuitable.
When considering putting in place a business LPA after you have carefully reviewed your governance documents, it is crucial to consider the suitability of the Attorneys to act to ensure they have the requisite knowledge of your business. Any Instructions and Guidance that would be appropriate given the nature of your business can be included. We can include instructions that your chosen Attorney/s can charge for their services if professional Attorney/s are deemed as suitable by you. We usually find in practice that Attorneys you may have appointed for your personal assets may not always be best suited to acting under a Business LPA.
By putting in place business LPA’s you and your business can ensure continuity until your return to ensure the business runs as efficiently as possible during your incapacity and that the LPA runs in conjunction with any personal LPA you may have in place. Thinking about and putting LPA’s in place prior to sudden illness or accident can provide much peace of mind at what would be already a difficult time.