We regularly hear about the benefits of lasting powers of attorney and their relevance in personal life, but all too often the importance of a business lasting power of attorney is overlooked.
However, just as an individual’s LPA (whether one for health and welfare, or for property and financial affairs) allows you to appoint attorneys to manage your affairs should you become incapacitated, a business lasting power of attorney offers the same protection to your business.
A business lasting power of attorney allows a business owner to appoint a person or people to make decisions in the best interests of the organisation should she or he become mentally incapacitated (or unavailable).
In the absence of a business LPA, a business is at risk. Bank accounts may be frozen, paying creditors or suppliers may be impossible, and what about paying staff? Can these day-to-day actions go ahead if the only signatory on all the relevant accounts and documentation is the business owner?
A business LPA is an essential part of any crisis planning for a company or organisation, in the same way that a continuity plan ensures a business keeps operating in the event of, for example, fire or flood.
Look first at what sort of business you run and who would be best placed to become your attorney(s) to act on your behalf. You’ll want to choose people you trust but also those who understand how the business works. So you might, for example, want to appoint a member of your family and one of your business colleagues, who can work in tandem.
At Optimum, we create business LPAs. We first discuss with the business owner what their wishes are and who would make the most suitable attorneys.
Once we have all the information we need, we will draw up the business LPA. If you wish, we can also create your personal LPAs – health and welfare, and property and financial affairs – to accompany it.
The next step is for the document to be signed and witnessed by yourself and by your named attorneys. We will then register it with the Office of the Public Guardian.
The process is simple and straightforward, and provides you with peace of mind that your business will continue to run smoothly in the event that you are no longer able to take charge.
To talk to the Optimum team about a business lasting power of attorney, please get in touch. We work with business owners and directors across Swindon, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the South West.