We find that many of our clients with small businesses do not realise they may need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) specifically for their business. The person who they would want to run their business if anything happened to them and they became mentally incapacitated, is not necessarily the same person who would look after their personal affairs. Contact us for more advice regarding protecting your business. Do you realise, for example, that even jointly held business bank accounts would all be frozen if you became incapacitated?…
We find at A R K that a lot of our clients who make personal Finance & Property Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), really should consider having a Business LPA as well. For example you might have a spouse or children who you would want to act on your behalf for personal finance issues, so you appoint them as attorneys on your Finance & Property LPA; but if you have a business, would they be the best placed to carry on your business on your behalf if you became incapacitated? They may be, but if you have a partner in your business or work very closely with someone, then it may be that it would be more logical to appoint them as your business attorney. This would put less stress on your personal attorneys and would ensure that your business could continue to run smoothly.
The huge benefit of a LPA for business is peace of mind. For you, your family and your business colleagues. If you lose mental capacity, without having made an LPA, nobody could access your bank accounts (business or private) even if they are joint accounts. They would be frozen and can only be unfrozen once a Deputyship Order is made. This is obtained from the Court of Protection – it can take many months, even for simple cases, and it’s a costly process as well. For more advice please see our Business LPA fact sheet.
It’s also very important to include your business in your Will. You need to make it clear in your Will what you would like to happen to your business after your death. For example; would you want it to be sold? or carried on according to instructions within your Will? You might need to appoint a separate business executor as well. We are happy to advise regarding all these issues. Contact us if you would like any advice regarding Business LPAs.