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Why should every farmer have a lasting power of attorney?
There are two separate documents; one to deal with your property and financial affairs, and the other to deal with your health and welfare.
Who should I have as an attorney?
It can be a relative, a friend or a professional. They should be over the age of 18, organised and trustworthy, ideally with a good understanding of your business or how a farming business operates. You will also need their agreement to appoint them and it is always advisable to choose a replacement for them in case they are unable to carry out the task at the time.
You can choose more than one attorney to look after your affairs, in which case you will need to specify how they can act:
- jointly or severally or,
- jointly in some aspects but severally in others.
Why should I have a lasting power of attorney?
Farming has once again been crowned the UK’s ‘deadliest industry’ with a higher accident rate than any other industry. LPA’s should therefore be viewed as an insurance policy, with the hope that you would never need to use it, but should the unthinkable happen, you are covered.
If you do not have an LPA in place, the court process to get a Deputy order is lengthy, which could have disastrous consequences for your business.
Increasingly, courts are requiring specific LPA’s to enable businesses to continue. Legislation does not prevent attorneys acting in a trade or profession or business, but without an express power in place, businesses can grind to a halt.
If you need assistance with making a lasting power of attorney, contact the team on 01206 217312