As the owner of a Holiday Park or a Residential Park it is important that you plan for the future to protect your business assets. As part of this, it is key to plan ahead and give authority to a trusted person (or people) to handle your finances and carry on your business if you are ever unable to do so yourself.
It is always a sensible idea to have a back-up plan for times when you may not be able to handle the business yourself, from being stuck at home with a nasty case of flu to the more serious case of mental incapacity.
One advisable step to be taken by all park owners is to have a financial Lasting Power of Attorney (an ‘LPA’) which will allow you to appoint up to four people to handle your finances if you become incapable of handling them yourself. There are strict rules in place governing how an attorney can act under an LPA including a duty to always act in your best interest. It is important to pick someone who you know well and can trust to handle to your affairs. You could decide to appoint a professional attorney to act either solely or alongside your family members or a business associate in order to keep your business running as smoothly as possible.
Please note that nobody would be able to handle your finances without a Lasting Power of Attorney if you do lose capacity, without first applying to the Court of Protection. Someone would be able to apply to the Court for an Order to be appointed as your Deputy, however this is a much longer and more expensive route which can cause a lot of additional stress in an already stressful situation.
Another aspect to consider is also completing an LPA to allow your attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare, including decisions about life sustaining treatment. This gives you the option to appoint those you trust to make decisions about your daily life and care if ever you are mentally incapable of speaking to doctors or social workers, for example.
Further to this, instructions and preferences can be included in both types of LPA to help guide your attorneys when making decisions on your behalf.
As at the beginning of this month, the Office of the Public Guardian has reduced the court registration fee for each Lasting Power of Attorney from £110 to £82.
Please contact our Wills and Probate Team if you wish to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney and how we can help you plan for the future of your business.