A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way you appoint someone you trust to have legal authority to make decisions on your behalf when or if there comes a point in your life that you loose capacity to make the decisions yourself. For example if you suffer from an illness which affects your capacity such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, one is for Health and Care and one is for Financial Decisions.
Health and Care Decisions
With this option, your attorney can make decisions on things like, where you should live, your medical care, what you should eat , what kind of social activities you should take part in.
Your attorney can only use this Lasting Power of Attorney if you no longer have mental capacity. You can also give your attorney permission to make decisions about life-saving treatment.
If you lose mental capacity and don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, any decisions about your healthcare will be made by doctors. They will consult your family but the final decision lies with them.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for financial decisions, enables your attorney make decisions relating to your financial welfare and may include; paying the mortgage, paying your bills, arranging repairs to your home and selling your home.
You are able to decide when you want this type of Lasting Power of Attorney to start. It could be while you still have mental capacity, or if/when you lose capacity.
You are able to choose if your attorney can make all decisions or only certain types of financial decisions on your behalf. Your attorney has a duty to act in your best interest and they will keep your money separate from theirs, and keep an accounts record to show this. You can ask for regular details of how much money you have – and how much has been spent.
You can appoint up to 4 Attorneys to act together.
You can choose to make one power of Attorney or both Power of Attorneys
A business lasting power of attorney (BLPA) is a method by which a business owner can legally authorise a person or persons to make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so. Thereby ensuring a business is able to operate and that the business’s interests are protected when they face adverse circumstances.
It is important for a business owner to consider what will happen to the business if the owner, director, partner or another person with significant control was either:-
- involved in an accident, or
- suffered from a medical condition that incapacitated them
Appointing a business power of attorney enables business continuity without significant delay or damage to reputation.
A business power of attorney would enable an attorney to pay bills, contractors and salaries, sign cheques, manage business relationships and execute business development plans. Therefore a Business Lasting Power of Attorney protects customers, employees and the business’ reputation.
What type of business requires a BLPA?
- Sole Trader
All types of business owners can appoint a power of attorney to provide protection to their business. Some partnership agreements/articles of association documents may include a provision for physical /psychological absence. Nevertheless, most articles and agreements that are used (including standard modal articles and partnership agreements) are inadequate and do not include sufficient terms for a legally compliant provision.
In addition to this, changes in the law such as the Mental Capacity Act, may mean that your current terms are null and void, resulting in no adequate provision being in place.
If you are unsure of whether your articles/agreements are sufficient, contact us for review and advice in respect of the same.
What happens if you do not appoint a business power of attorney?
If you do not appoint a business power of attorney, and your partnership agreement or articles of association, fall short of the requisite clause no person will be able to conduct the day to day duties that your business requires to operate.
In order for an alternative person to be appointed, a court application must be made whereby the Court of Protection will appoint an attorney on your behalf.
This can be complex, costly and lengthy procedure (an average of 9-12 months) in this time your business reputation may be damaged. You could lose clients, employees as well as an irreparable damage to business relationships.
Who should a business owner appoint as an attorney?
A business owner must take a number of factors into consideration when appointing a Business Power of Attorney. These include appointing:-
- A person that the business owner trusts, and
- A person with the requisite skill set
The type of business that you run may require you to appoint a particular type of attorney.
In order to obtain further information about our business lasting power of attorney service contact us today on 0161 943 4124.
Last updated on 1 July 2020