If you are the owner of a business – sole trader, partnership or company etc or have an important role in a business such as a controlling shareholder or a director, then you need to think about the implications for the business if anything were to happen to you.
Powers of Attorney for your business
If you need help managing your affairs during lifetime because of illness or mental incapacity, then you can appoint attorneys to make decisions on your behalf under a Lasting Power of Attorney. This will be familiar to many individuals regarding their personal affairs. You can also make a separate Lasting Power of Attorney to cover your business affairs.
Choosing the right person
Having a key decision maker or person with a controlling interest in a business out of action, can be pretty devasting for a business. It is also not necessarily easy to remove them from positions of authority in the business if needed, for example, a director cannot normally be removed from a company on the basis of mental health problems because of protective legislation against discrimination.
Having an attorney appointed allows decisions to be made, notices to be served and the business to keep running. One of the most critical roles an attorney might play in acting on your behalf is extracting you from the business in a successful way protecting your interests and helping the business to move onwards.
If you are thinking about making a separate Lasting Power of Attorney to deal with your business assets, then one of the most important parts of the decision is how to select a suitable attorney. You may need to appoint someone who has the right technical expertise and qualifications to be involved in the business, particularly if it is heavily regulated such as accountancy or law. You will also have to think carefully about who can act in terms of business confidentiality and conflicts that may arise.
Getting it right
An experienced legal advisor will be able to guide you through this process, help you choose the right attorneys and add value by adding extra express terms in to the Lasting Power of Attorney to make sure the attorneys can do everything that they need to do in practice to manage your affairs whilst also protecting your interests. A good advisor can help you write accompanying Letters of Wishes with guidance for your attorney and advise you on procedure and practicalities.
A good Will is also an important step for passing any business interest on the right way (more another time on this subject!).
If you would like to discuss making Lasting Powers of Attorney to protect your business and business interests, then please contact Rowena Rogers or another member of our friendly Life Planning Team at Guest Walker who will be able to help – Telephone us on: 01904 624903 or email: Solicitors@guestwalker.co.uk