This article has been submitted by Slater and Gordon.
The loss of mental capacity is, unfortunately, something that happens. When the worst happens, it’s important to ensure that you have appointed someone to look after your business affairs in your best interests.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one of more people to help make decisions on your behalf, your “attorney”. Under an LPA you can choose to appoint one or more attorneys to make business and personal decisions. To make an LPA you must be over 18 and have capacity.
It is very often the case that clients would not want their business partner making personal financial decisions for them. In contrast, they would rather their business partner have control of the business affairs as opposed to their spouse, for example. In this instance two separate LPAs need to be made.
A company’s memorandum and articles, or a partnership agreement, may include provision for a director’s, or a partner’s, loss of capacity. From experience, this is not always the case. Even when provision is made it is not always what you may have wanted to happen.
In the case of all business owners LPA’s, in my view, are a necessary business tool. What would happen if you were to loose capacity? Would anyone be able to support you in maintaining your income at that difficult time?
When choosing your attorney you should consider how well they would look after their own affairs as well as how well you know them. You need to think about whether they would have your best interests at heart and if you really would be happy for them to make decisions for you from a commercial and personal point of view.
It is important that you look after every aspect of your life and make your decisions carefully. The people you appoint will look after you at your most vulnerable point in life and you want to make sure they do. It is advisable to seek professional legal advice when choosing to register a Lasting Power of Attorney.
If you would like to speak to a member of our experienced Wills, Trust, Tax and Probate team call Slater and Gordon Lawyers in our Cardiff office on 0292 192 1818 or contact us online.