People tend to think about Powers of Attorney in terms of possible future incapacity through an illness like dementia. But the risks to your future business decision-making ability are actually much broader.
Running a business is hectic and demanding. So while you probably don’t want to think about it, the risk of incapacity after a car accident, for example, or a serious stress-related health problem is ever-present.
If you as a business owner suddenly lost the capacity to make those important decisions, it’s not hard to imagine the catastrophic impact it would have.
What would happen to your business if you couldn’t run things as you do now?
Who would authorise bill payments? Check invoices? Pay salaries? Take care of staff pensions? If your business got into difficulties, what would be the impact on your dependants and staff? Then there’s your bank. How would they react to such uncertainty? And if you have personal assets pledged to cover business borrowing, what would the consequences be for you and your loved ones?
You can’t simply rely on loved ones to take over the decision-making
Maybe you assume your other half could instantly step in to take over business matters, or another responsible family member. But you’d be wrong.
Depending on the type of business, your loved ones would probably first have to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to act on your behalf. This process is expensive and typically takes six months or more. Not only that, but the Court may choose someone you don’t even know to take over business decisions.
A Business Lasting Power of Attorney takes all this uncertainty away
Depending on whether your business basis is sole trader, partnership or limited company, a Business Lasting Power of Attorney may or not be appropriate. We’ll be pleased to advise you about your individual position.
Someone you nominate will then be legally empowered to act as your attorney (they don’t have to be a lawyer in the US sense of that word). Your attorney could be your spouse, partner, business associate, child over 18 or any other trusted person.
Crucially, your attorney will be able to take over the running of the business immediately
They’re free to go into your business and act for you the moment you become incapacitated. There’s no need to apply to the Court, no associated applications costs and no extra stress for you or your family at a difficult time.
Creating a Business Lasting Power of Attorney is usually a simple matter
And with that peace-of-mind box ‘ticked’, you can get on with running your business and enjoying the family income it provides.
You can also nominate trusted others to take your personal decisions if you can’t
Separate from your business affairs, you can also use Lasting Powers of Attorney to make sure the right people are able to take decisions for you with regard to your own finances and your health & wellbeing. More about that here.