One of the most established firms of Will Writers and Estate Planners in Swansea is warning business owners of the dangers of not arranging a business continuity plan, in the event that they may become incapacitated.
Alyson Dyer (above) a partner at Compass Wills and a Dementia Champion, is urging business owners to put in place a Business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to avoid serious disruption if they were to become mentally incapacitated.
There are numerous debilitating disorders but far the most prevalent is dementia, with around 850,000 people found to be living with dementia across the country in 2015.
With an increasing number of people in the UK suffering from the disease, the knock on effects to business could be incredibly serious.
There is a real threat that many small businesses will suffer unless adequate plans are in place to enable someone to step in to manage day-to-day operations.
“Whilst many business owners may think the options are obvious, there is actually no automatic right to deal with another person’s affairs. Unless you have appointed an attorney, the disruption to a business could be catastrophic as no one can sign on their behalf or even access bank accounts to pay staff and suppliers.” warns Alyson.
However, by establishing a Business Lasting Power of Attorney, business owners can be safe in the knowledge that a person of their choosing will be able to continue to deal with their affairs, if required. There are specific rules as to who can be appointed as your attorney to assist in protecting your business.
Alyson adds: “It is a natural hope that this kind of situation will never arise but, by putting an LPA in place, any risk is minimised and a business that will no doubt have taken a great deal of hard work to build will be in safe hands.”
Compass has seen an increasing number of cases of businesses having to deal with the problem of not having a Business LPA.
One recent example is of a 62-year-old client who was a partner in a business. Having suffer-ed a stroke which left him brain damaged, his prognosis was such that he would never regain capacity to make decisions in relation to the business.
Having no Power of Attorney in place left the other partners in the business powerless to make any decisions.
Previously, the loss of capacity would have meant that the client would have been removed automatically from the partnership. Now how-ever, due to the Mental Health Discrimination Act, this can no longer happen. The only available option was to apply to the Court of Protection, a process which took in excess of 6 months.
This resulted in losses to the business as there could be no formal decision making by the partners during this time.
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY Contact Compass Wills for a confidential meeting to discuss your circumstances. Telephone 01792 893200