Powers of Attorney are most often talked about in the context of personal matters but they are equally important in business. Some years ago a partner in a well known law firm of Glasgow solicitors fell unexpectedly and seriously ill. He spent six weeks in intensive care followed by months of home convalescence before happily making a full recovery. At their first meeting after the onset of the illness, his fellow partners looked at each other and at the various routine papers which required his signature, and realised they had fallen into the trap of failing to offer to themselves the advice which they would automatically have given their clients.
So please let me emphasise that if you are a sole trader or run a small business putting in place a Power of Attorney could be vital to the survival of your business if you suffer health or incapacity problems. Let us suppose you are a sole trader and you have been in an accident and are unable to run your business. If the business accounts are in your name only and you have no Power of Attorney in place no one else would be able to access them, but bills will still have to be paid and so on. This could affect the credit rating, reputation and customer relationships of the business, let alone any family relying upon your income.
To avoid this, all that is really involved is a straightforward legal document saying who would administer the business if you became incapable of doing so. If you do not have a Power of Attorney in place any family member or friend who wanted to step in to run your business would have to apply to the court for Guardianship which is a slow procedure and can take up to a year by which time your business may be no more.
If you are a business person it’s likely that you believe a Power of Attorney is a good idea so I urge you to take it further and find out more. Please contact me, Andy Lindsay, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0141 552 3422