Posted by James McNeile, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
LPAs offer lifeline to businesses
Thinking about the consequences of an accident or illness that causes severe incapacity is not something most of us want to do.
But when we have families and businesses depending on us, putting plans in place to help deal with the consequences of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity is essential.
Coping with the challenges involved will never be easy. But at a time when your family and business team are coming to terms with the fact that life may never be the same again, enabling other people to manage and make decisions about your finances – including those related to running your business – can make a significant difference.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) offers a useful tool for managing your affairs should you temporarily or permanently lack capacity to do so, as part of broader continuity planning for maintaining business operations after an event causing significant disruption, such as a flood, fire or IT systems crashing.
An LPA allows the person making the arrangement – the donor – to give a trusted person, such as a relative, business partner or solicitor the legal authority to manage their financial and property matters, such as operating their bank account, if they become mentally incapacitated. This person is known as an attorney.
The LPA also allows the donor to give an attorney – not necessarily the same person as the one handling their financial affairs – the power to make decisions on matters including their health and welfare.
Making an LPA – which must be done when the donor has mental capacity – avoids the need for complicated legal proceedings to “unfreeze” the assets of someone incapable of handling their own affairs and the document can be drafted in a way that allows designated people continued access to business bank accounts without interruption. This means that day-to-day operations can carry on as normal, avoiding damage to the viability and saleability of the business.
Alongside other measures – such as making contingency plans for the appointment of designated interim directors or managers for the business or setting out wishes for the future of the business in the event of permanent incapacity – the LPA would enable the business to continue to function while the owner regains his/her health after a serious illness or accident or on a longer term basis.
The LPA can only be used after it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, so it should always be registered immediately, so that it is ready to use in case of an emergency.
Royds is experienced in tailoring LPAs to individual circumstances and requirements, including those relating to business interests. We can also act as your attorney or advise and guide your attorneys on the management of your affairs throughout the period they act for you. For more information, please visit or contact Tony Millson or Deanna Hurst.