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Would your business survive if you had an accident?

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It may not be something you want to think about, but it’s vital to be prepared in case you are struck down by something that affects your mental capacity.

Giles Scott

It could happen suddenly and without warning - and if you are a business owner, it could have serious repercussions for your livelihood.

What legal documents are in place to protect your business if you are suddenly unable to work for a period of time?

Indeed, you need someone to deal with your affairs whether it is a short absence, or a longer-term change of circumstances, perhaps in the case of Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Parkinson’s Disease.

There may also be occasions where you are physically incapable of running your business, through something as common as the flu or a broken bone, or even if you are abroad or on holiday and are unable to get to a particular place to sign a contract in time.

The legal answer to these problems is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which can either cover just your business affairs, or both your personal and business lives. It is common practice to create one LPA for your personal affairs and one in relation to your business.

Power of Attorney

Doesn’t someone have the right to do this automatically?

Many people assume that a business colleague, or spouse, will be able to pick up the reins, but there is no automatic right for someone to deal with another person’s affairs.

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Unless you have appointed someone, legally known as your Attorney, then the disruption to your business could be substantial.

For example, it may not be possible to access bank accounts, and if your business cannot enter into contracts, or pay its staff, then the consequences could be severe.

Who should I appoint as my Attorney?

It can be anyone aged over 18, and it is vital to think about who you trust to make these decisions for you, and also whether they are reliable and have the skills to carry out the role.

For more advice about Lasting Power of Attorneys for business owners visit https://www.lblaw.co.uk/services-for-you/wills-trusts-and-administration-of-estates/lasting-powers-of-attorney/

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