The importance of a Power of Attorney (Business)

11th August 2017
The importance of a Power of Attorney (Business) image

Importance of a Power of Attorney in Business

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables one person (the Donor) to appoint a maximum of four other people (the Attorneys) to act on their behalf when they require assistance.

There are two types of LPA available- one relating to property and financial affairs and one relating to health and welfare decisions. 

For further information as to what an LPA is and the difference between the two types of LPA please see our leaflet/article titled “Should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

Many people associate LPAs with those who are incapacitated and the elderly as they are often incredibly important for those, for example, suffering from dementia so that their affairs can be managed on their behalf. However, if you are a sole trader, a director of a company or in a partnership an LPA could prove very useful in situations where you are unable to make your own decisions. It is possible that a partnership agreement or articles of association make provision for a situation where a partner or director loses capacity and therefore the terms should be checked to ensure that any LPA does not conflict.

Although a lack of mental capacity is often associated with the elderly, sadly the situation can  arise for those who are much younger, whether that be from a medical condition or from some form of accident. Aside from mental capacity, there may be a physical reason why you would be unable to make decisions regarding your business or deal wth certain business matters such as if you were out of the country. In these situations it would be imperative that your business can continue to run smoothly with minimal disruption, whether that be the payment of bills and salaries, dealing with the bank with regard to any loans, dealing with insurers, dealing with tax matters or ensuring that any important contracts are not compromised for example.

Although the LPA can be used as soon as it has been registered, you do have the option of ensuring that it is only useable if you no longer have capacity. This may be useful if, for example, you are out of the country for some time but still intend to make decisions with regard to your business.

It is possible that you may want different people to deal with your business affairs to your personal affairs. If this is the case then it is possible to create two LPAs- one dealing with your personal affairs and a separate LPA to deal with your business affairs. If this is the case then it is important to include specific instructions in your LPAs detailing which attorneys have the power to deal with which assets. This is important so that, for example, your business Attorneys cannot make decisions with regard to your personal affairs or vice versa. Alternatively, you may only need to create one LPA that deals with both your business and personal affairs if you are happy for the same people to act in relation to both aspects. 

When choosing your Attorneys, you must carefully consider whether they would be suitable for the role and that they understand what their responsibilities would be including any other matters that should be considered such as additional insurances or any other requirements depending on the type of your business.

Upon your retirement, for example, or if the relationship between you and your Attorneys breaks down then it is always possible to revoke an LPA provided you have the necessary capacity to revoke it.

If any of the situations mentioned above occurred and you did not have an LPA in place, an application could be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order but this is much more expensive than an LPA and can take a number of months to finalise which is likely to be disruptive to your business. In addition, you would not be able to choose the person appointed as Deputy- the Court of Protection would choose and this may not be someone you would have chosen yourself.

When setting up a new business, there are many different matters that need to be considered and it is likely that creating an LPA for your business affairs was or is probably not at the top of your list of priorities. However, circumstances can arise whereby you may be unable to make decisions with regard to your business or continue to deal with business matters whether long term or short term and, in such cases, it is important that your business can continue to run effectively and smoothly by having a suitable person appointed as your Attorney.

To discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact one of our lawyers in the Wills, Powers of Attorney and Probate Department:-

Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com

Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com

Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.


Maples supporting Macmillan Coffee Morning image

Maples supporting Macmillan Coffee Morning

On 29th September 2017 Maples Solicitors LLP will be hosting a coffee morning as part of Macmillan’s “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning”.

Tea, coffee and cakes will be served from 10:00am until 1:00pm and all donations received will go to Macmillan Cancer Support to assist them with providing medical, emotional, practical and financial support to those facing cancer and their families.

At the same time, Maples will also be running a free Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate clinic so that whilst you are in the office you may take the opportunity to discuss any of these with one of the Private Client Team with no obligation to commit. You can use the time to raise any questions you may have about making a Will, who you could appoint as Executors, whether you need a Power of Attorney or how a Power of Attorney works, for example.

Maples hope to see their existing clients join them for the coffee morning and very much look forward to meeting new people- everyone is welcome!

If you would like to discuss any matters in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or any Probate related matters prior to the coffee morning then please contact one of the lawyers in our private client team:-

Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office on 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

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Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!

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