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Entries in Lasting Powers of Attorney (3)

Friday
Nov152013

Seminar on Wealth and Frailty - Wednesday 20th November 2013

Greene & Greene Solicitors' 17th annual Autumn seminar season comes to a close on Wednesday 20th November 2013. The seminar, held at the Unitarian Meeting House on Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, will focus on failing capacity and increased vulnerability, guiding families and friends to ensure that inappropriate transactions are not undertaken and that proper transactions are protected from attack at a later date.

In this session Kate Chandler (Contentious Probate and Family lawyer) will outline what happens where insufficient thought is given to validating the instructions of vulnerable clients. She will detail the ways a Will or lifetime gifts can be challenged due to lack of capacity, lack of knowledge and approval, undue influence and the effect of vulnerability and suggestibility. 

Wayne Perrin (Tax and Probate lawyer) will demonstrate how, with a few simple guidelines, the risk of challenges can be minimised. Dealing with these issues from mere vulnerability to lack of capacity and setting out rules to follow to ensure that all documentation holds water in the event of a dispute.

Greene & Greene’s head of private client, Suzanne Alston, said: "Disputes about the validity of wills and trusts, and the distribution of deceased persons’ estates, are increasing. This seminar will be very useful to individuals on their own account and professionals who advise families in other fields involvingg property and finance."

The morning session is already fully booked but some spaces exist in the afternoon slot at 2.15pm on Wednesday 20th November 2013.  The seminar is free but booking is essential.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Debbie Rouse, Practice Administrator, on 01284 762211 or debbierouse@greene-greene.com.  More information can be found on Greene & Greene at www.greene-greene.com and @greenegreenelaw.
Friday
Jul122013

Are your affairs in order?  

 

Wayne Perrin from Greene & Greene Solicitors advises on the importance of planning for both the future and the unexpected when it comes to your business. 

Everyone knows they ought to make a will, but about two thirds of people die without one and despite media campaigns over the years that figure has not gone down.

Even fewer of us have prepared for the situation in which, for whatever reason, we cannot manage our own affairs because of ill health or injury.  This can be a serious issue for all of us, but the problem is magnified for business owners.

The good news is that you can do something to protect your family and your business in this situation if you plan ahead.  The answer?  A well-thought out Power of Attorney, appointing someone with the appropriate skills and knowledge to ensure that the business suffers as little as possible.

Within a company situation, shareholders can delegate decisions to an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney, who can continue to exercise the shareholders’ rights. 

For company directors, the position may be different.  They cannot delegate their duties to an attorney unless authorised.  The company constitution may require removal of the director meaning delay and cost.  But if the point is considered in advance, the constitution can be changed, minimizing the overall disruptive effect.

General partnership law does not address incapacity at all.  Incapacity might be covered by the partnership agreement, but many older partnership agreements require the automatic expulsion of that partner and the consequential forced sale of assets.

At greatest risk are sole traders and sole director companies.  Here the incapacity of the person in charge could be catastrophic for everyone involved if a Lasting Power of Attorney is not in place.  The only alternative might be a court application which might take six months or more.  By that time, the business may no longer be viable and a once-valuable asset that would have been passed to your family could be lost.

Wills and powers of attorney are generally thought to be the province of the elderly or something that can be put off ‘until I retire’ but the risk is there.  No matter what your age, you should consider the possibility that you may not be able to deal with your business affairs and, therefore, putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney and reviewing your arrangements would be beneficial to you, your business and family.  

For further information contact Wayne Perrin directly on 01284 717454 wayneperrin@greene-greene.com 

Article first published: Bury Edition magazine, July 2013

As a dual qualified solicitor and chartered tax adviser, Wayne works with a wide variety of clients, from individuals to companies. He has recently advised on estate planning and Inheritance Tax mitigation for individuals, as well as advising on partnership structures, particularly for the agricultural sector.

Also find Wayne on:      Google +        LinkedIn

Tuesday
Nov202012

Accident or stroke – a business catastrophe?

While Lasting Powers of Attorney are commonly on the radar for families to manage the financial affairs of loved ones who lose mental capacity through Alzheimers disease, or other age related infirmity, there is often a blind spot in relation to what should happen if a breadwinner suddenly loses capacity, for example through accident or stroke.

If an employee or business owner becomes suddenly incapacitated, operational disruption is inevitable. When the individual is also a company shareholder, director or business partner, the additional problems caused by loss of strategic thinking and contractual authority, together with loss of capital tax relief are potentially catastrophic.

Company shareholders can delegate decisions to an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney thus preventing asset freezing and preserving Business Property Relief from Inheritance Tax.  By contrast, directors of companies cannot delegate their duties to an attorney unless authorised.  The governing articles may require removal, either automatically or with the prior determination from the court, meaning delay and cost.

Partnership law does not address incapacity at all.  Incapacity might be covered by the partnership agreement, but the agreement could be out of date or silent.  Automatic expulsion could spring a partnership dissolution and cessation of trade, with consequential sale of assets and loss of business property relief from Inheritance Tax – a disaster for the family if the partner then dies.

Sole traders and partners should consider appointing an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney.  Great care should be taken that the attorney is capable of managing the business and that the partnership agreement permits the appointment.

For further information contact Wayne Perrin on 01284 717454 wayneperrin@greene-greene.com

Article Published: East Anglian Daily Times, Business East Monthly, 20 November 2012