Ask The Legal Expert - Lasting Power of Attorney Arrangements Offer Peace of Mind For Farming Families
- AuthorBeverley Bowen
"I am in my 60s and I run a farm with my daughter. I have a friend who was laid up for months with Covid-19 – now recovered – and this has made me think about enabling my daughter to take over my financial affairs if necessary. What can I do?"
It is sensible to get your affairs in order while you’re healthy in case you no longer have capacity to deal with your property and financial affairs, and Covid-19 concerns are reinforcing this. If nothing has been put in place, your farm business might falter if you aren’t there to make decisions or sign cheques to pay bills.
You should prepare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents, which allow you to appoint an attorney – in this case your daughter – to act for you in the event that you can no longer deal with your property and financial affairs. There is no limit to the number of Attorneys who can be appointed by you, and you can specify whether the attorneys should act together or independently.
You should consult a Solicitor to draw up the documents, so they can include all relevant details and explain the procedure. The LPA should be signed by all parties and witnessed, then registered with the Office of The Public Guardian.
Once the Property & Finance LPA is registered, and as long as it is unrestricted, in this case your daughter will be able to act for you for the rest of your life, unless you revoke it. So, she can act for you regarding:
- Gaining access to your financial information
- Buying or selling a property
- Operating a bank account, or investing
- Paying for private medical, residential or nursing care, or applying for funding for these
- Claiming and using benefits, pensions, allowances or rebates on your behalf
- Receiving income, inheritance or other entitlement on your behalf
- The efficient running of the farm business
It is also worth noting that having an attorney acting under an LPA can assist with protecting your estate’s ability to claim agricultural property relief when you pass away. This could ensure that your daughter doesn’t have a large tax bill when you die, and potentially have to sell the farm to cover this. You can only set up an LPA while you still have mental capacity.
JCP’s Lifetime Planning team is on hand for legal support. Contact Beverley on 01792 525458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This question is based upon a hypothetical situation.