Whilst most Farmers know that they should have a Will, many have not thought about what would happen if they had an accident or developed a mental illness and could no longer manage their own affairs or run the farm business. With farmers working daily with dangerous machinery and livestock, often near pits or silos, the risk of serious injury is a real one. The mental strain of running a farm business in the current economic climate can also take its toll. Luckily there is something that can be done to help.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to choose one or more people you trust to handle your affairs. You can place restrictions on what they can do but the key is to choose people you trust to do what is best for you. Done properly, and with the chosen Attorney fully on board, having an LPA can save a great deal of stress if you ever became mentally or physically incapable of looking after your own affairs. LPA’s can also be a useful way of managing the practical impact of an extended absence from the farm, such as a longer holiday, as banks and other organisations will deal with your Attorneys in your stead.
There are two types of LPA which can be put in place separately or as a combination:
- A Property and Financial Affairs LPA – this authorises your Attorney(s) to manage your property and financial affairs, deal with banks, and manage your pensions etc. You can make a separate LPA that only deals with the Farm business, if you want to appoint different people to manage the farm rather than your personal affairs.
- A Health & Welfare LPA – this authorises your Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, including health care and where you live.
Sadly, if you do not make an LPA but you become unable to manage your affairs in the future, someone would have to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to help you. This can be a very time consuming and costly process, at a time when certainty and financial security can be of great comfort.
If you are considering making an LPA, please contact us, and a member of our team would be very happy to discuss this with you further.