Should you have a General Power of Attorney for your business?

10th July 2020

As more and more people start to return to work after the lockdown, the risks of contracting Covid-19 or having to self-isolate as a result of coming in to contact with some who has tested positive, increase.

For business owners and key decision-makers in a business, this raises critical questions. If you were unable to attend the office, could the business run whilst you are absent? Is anyone else able to access your bank accounts to pay staff and invoices? It is easy to see how a health crisis could quickly become a business crisis.

In these circumstances, a General Power of Attorney might be the answer.

What is a General Power of Attorney?

A General Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you appoint one or more person(s) to make property or financial decisions on your behalf.

It can only be used when you have the mental capacity to be able to instruct your appointed attorney(s) to carry out actions on your behalf. You can limit the General Power of Attorney to certain functions – just enough to ensure the smooth running of your business in your absence.

The document does not need to be registered in the same way as a Lasting Power of Attorney before it can be used; this means that the document can be used as soon as it has been signed. You can set an end date for the Power of Attorney or, prior to this date, you can expressly revoke the Power of Attorney if it is no longer required or you want to change its terms.

A General Power of Attorney is a key tool in your arsenal

With the return to work underway, it is important to ensure that you have practical procedures in place to allow your business to operate and trade if you were temporarily absent. General Powers of Attorney are a key tool in achieving this. If you would like to discuss your options, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team.

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