Who will run your business if you cannot?

If you fell ill tomorrow, how would your business carry on – and how could you be sure your interests would be represented?

This is a question every business owner, partner or shareholder should consider and if there are company articles or a shareholders’ agreement, the answer may be detailed there.

For many sole traders or smaller companies however, there are no formal arrangements in place. Without your ability to make decisions your business and its assets could quickly become frozen.

Even accessing bank accounts to pay bills or salaries could be impossible without a lengthy and costly Court of Protection application, but there are ways to avoid this scenario using a Lasting Power of Attorney.

A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can authorise a representative, such as a family member or professional, to continue running your business for you.

The LPA may also enable your Attorney to sign documents and vote in Board meetings if you own the business with others and there are no arrangements already in place to cover the situation.

There are some things that an LPA will not assist with in a business situation, so it is important that you seek advice based on your individual circumstances.

If you have not done so, it is vital to think about what would happen if you or a key player became incapacitated or died. An LPA is one of many solutions, depending on your situation.

Andrea is a Director and Head of Private Client at Verisona Law, specialising in Wills, probate and tax planning.  She also advises on lasting powers of attorney and declarations of trust in relation to property ownership.  Andrea is often asked to advise elderly parents and their children on the issue of trust of the family home and gift of the family home to the children. 

Many clients regard her as the ‘family’s solicitor’ and come back to her whenever they need legal advice. Clients have appointed her to act as their Attorney in the event that they become unable to manage their own affairs and she has acted in this capacity on a number of occasions.

Andrea is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

solicitor for the elderly

Andrea qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and has worked as a full time solicitor since then.  She has been with Gray Purdue, now Verisona Law, since 1987, initially acting for clients in matrimonial cases. Since 1999 she has advised on Wills and probate, and related matters.

She was on the Solicitors panel for the Leprosy Mission for a number of years and supports ‘free Wills’ campaigns designed to raise money for charities.    

Past work

  • Acted for a client whose husband died unexpectedly without making his Will and leaving her with a young baby. 
  • Made an application to the Court to amend the rules of intestacy to ensure that the client was able to manage financially without having to tie up funds for her baby daughter until she was older.
  • Acted for a client whose solicitors at the time had failed to do a deed of variation to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that was payable on his late father’s estate.  Ensuring that the client received compensation for this and was put in the position he would have been had the deed of variation been prepared and signed in the time allowed. 
  • Wills
  • Probate and administration of estates
  • Tax planning as it relates to wills and estates
  • Lasting powers of attorney
  • Registration of enduring powers of attorney
  • Declarations of trust and transfers of equity
  • Initial advice regarding probate and will disputes
  • Living wills/Advance Directives
  • Equity release

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