Lasting Powers of Attorney for business owners

Wake Smith Solicitors 08 March 2017

Most people tend to assume that powers of attorney are only for the elderly and that the rest of us can manage without.

Whilst the risks of losing capacity may increase with age, any of us can be involved in an accident or experience a medical emergency and the consequences of such an event on business owners can be very problematic says Wake Smith director Suzanne Porter.

“Individuals who own businesses should ensure more than anyone else that they have powers of attorney in place to deal with the situation where they need someone to make decisions on their behalf.

“Whether you are a sole trader, partner in a partnership, company director or shareholder with voting rights in a company and have not already got a power of attorney in place it is important to consider making a property and affairs lasting power of attorney. This  ensures that family members or other chosen individuals are able to make decisions and deal with the day to day financial and administrative issues on your behalf in the event of you being unable to do so.

“If an individual loses capacity and has not executed a valid enduring (only possible pre October 2007) or lasting power of attorney, family members or friends will only be able to deal with the affairs of the individual by applying to the Court of Protection for a deputy order.

“This is an expensive process that can typically take up to six months to obtain.  Where a business is involved, time delays can create significant issues for the owners in the meantime.  Without valid power of attorney, it is possible, for example, that uncomplicated transactions could not be financed.  Stock could not be purchased and employees might not be paid.

“When entering into lasting powers of attorney it is necessary to review articles of association or partnership agreements in advance, as these may contain provisions relating to incapacity of directors or partners.  It is important to ensure that lasting powers of attorney created do not conflict with these.

“Do not make the mistake of thinking that you do not need a lasting power of attorney because family members can act on your behalf in any case.  If you do not have a valid power of attorney your family member will not have authority to deal with your finances or financial decisions. 

“Business accounts held with a bank will not be accessible to your spouse.  A valid power of attorney needs to be in place to authorise individuals to be able to access your finances on your behalf.

“Another important consideration is to elect someone familiar with your business to act as your attorney, as this might mean selecting different attorneys for business and personal affairs.

“Consideration should be given to which attorney should take which decisions.  In certain circumstances the creation of more than one lasting power of attorney may be required.

“Powers of attorney can also be used when you still have capacity, but are out of the country.  They can be a very useful facility for business owners who travel abroad.

If you are a business owner contact one of our experienced team to discuss your position and ensure that a power of attorney is in place.

For further information contact Suzanne Porter on 0114 266 6660 or at [email protected]



June 20221May 20227April 20223March 20223February 20223January 20224December 20214November 20213October 20215September 20216August 20212July 202111June 20218May 20216April 20212March 20219February 20218January 20219December 20208November 202013October 20209September 20208August 20203July 20208June 202016May 202013April 20209March 202016February 20209January 202011December 20199November 20199October 201911September 20197August 20194July 20196May 20198April 20196March 20193February 20195January 20194December 20186November 20185October 20182September 20185August 20184July 20189June 20184May 201810April 20185March 20184February 20184January 20183December 20175November 20178October 20177September 20179August 20175July 20176June 201710May 20176April 20178March 201711February 20177January 201713December 20169November 20167October 201610September 201610August 20166July 20167June 20163May 20162April 20166March 20162February 20164January 20165December 20153November 20155October 20156September 20156August 20157July 20157June 20157May 20156April 20159March 20156February 201510January 20156December 20145November 20144October 20142September 20143May 20144March 20146February 20144January 20142December 20132November 20133September 20134July 20132June 20132May 20133April 20131March 20133February 20133January 20136December 20121November 20123October 20122August 20122July 20128June 20123April 20123March 20121January 20124December 20112November 20111October 20112September 20113August 20113July 20117June 20119May 20117April 20115March 20119February 20118January 20111December 20101October 20102September 20102August 20103July 20106June 20101May 20102April 20106March 20102February 20103January 20102December 20095November 20092October 20092September 20092August 20091July 20095June 20095May 20093April 20093March 20093February 20091January 20092November 20082October 20082September 20081August 20083July 20081January 20082

Featured Articles

Contact us