Dealing with the unexpected…Losing capacity at a young age

In modern society, much is said about dementia and lack of capacity as we grow older. It is quite common for older people and their families to think about Powers of Attorney to ensure that you have someone you can trust who can carry on matters on your behalf if you are not able to do so.

However, Powers of Attorney are not simply for the older generation.

Have you considered the consequences for your family if you were to suffer loss of capacity and be unable to manage your finances, perhaps because of a car accident, stroke or a head injury? Have you considered the consequences for your business if you are a director or a partner – who would deal with your clients or customers, pay the bills, deal with your staff?

This is particularly important in business matters. An Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney may not in itself be enough, as the Articles of Association of a company may determine what is to occur if a Director should lose capacity. The company may be unable to conduct business for a period because a Director has lost capacity and can’t attend meetings. This will inevitably cause practical and financial difficulties not only to the company, but also those dependent on it.

A carefully drawn Power of Attorney can get around many of these issues, with attorneys having powers to vote and potentially appoint replacement directors. Directors of a company should seek specialist advice upon putting their own affairs in order under a Power of Attorney but also looking at their Articles of Association to see what would occur.

If you are in a Partnership there can again be risks and difficulties caused both for the partner who has lost capacity and the partners remaining in the business. Again, it is worth reconsidering your Partnership Agreement to see what it says in the event of an incapacity of a Partner.

It is arguable that for younger people, the implications of not being able to carry out your day to day activities are even more significant than for an older person – if you are the main contributor to the family income, not being able to carry out your business whether as a sole trader, partnership or limited company can have profound implications.

Wolferstans not only have dedicated Departments that can assist you with preparing Powers of Attorney, but also a specialist team who can advise on all elements of Partnership Agreements and Articles of Association – ensure that your affairs are in order in both areas.

If you would like to speak someone, please contact Wolferstans on 01752 663295.

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