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‘Be prepared’ warning to business owners

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A stark warning has gone out to Shropshire and mid-Wales business owners who fail to be prepared for a personal crisis.

Wace Morgan Solicitors, which has offices in Shrewsbury and Newtown, is urging company owners to plan ahead to avoid problems.

Specialist lawyer Andrew Oxenham said that all key business people should consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney, in respect of their business roles, as well as in connection with their personal affairs.

“Company owners should ask themselves what would happen if they were involved in an accident, or perhaps had a sudden medical condition such as a stroke?” said Andrew, who has widespread experience in the field.

“Would employees’ wages and expenses of the business be paid, or would creditors or banks become impatient and seek to issue an early winding up order before Directors or Partners recovered sufficiently to sign business cheques and make decisions. Others could also end up running the Company in total ignorance of how the business works”

Mr Oxenham is urging senior staff to take sound professional advice and arrange Lasting Powers of Attorney, setting out their wishes clearly, concerning their businesses, as well as their personal affairs.

He explained: “Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, a business could be rudderless immediately – even quite large firms could be crippled if such events occur. People should choose an attorney who could be a business partner, accountant or anyone who has the ability and experience to keep the business functioning properly whilst longer term strategies are considered and implemented”.

“The benefit of an LPA is knowing that you have properly planned and nominated the right person to be able to take over your role and give the Company, or business, the continuity it needs at what would be a very difficult time.

“In smaller businesses the power to sign cheques, place orders, or sign contracts may be massively impeded when a key person cannot properly carry out their role. Also, in large Companies or businesses, banks may be unwilling to continue providing financial support where a key player may never return, due to ill health, so we would urge everyone to take legal advice from a specialist and plan ahead to avoid this scenario.”

For further information please contact Andrew Oxenham at Wace Morgan Tomleys 01686 626 641