Who runs the farm if you can’t?
Article date: 03/12/2014
The terrible incident at Bridge Farm where Tony Archer was trampled by Otto the bull reflects the real-life truth that farming is a hazardous occupation.
The goings-on in Ambridge are fictional but the dangers of handling cattle are far too real. Every year people are killed and injured on British farms and as well as being distressing, can lead to the bigger question - who runs the farm if you cannot?
And back at The Archers, as if Tony's injuries weren't bad enough - he remains on a ventilator - the family also have the Health & Safety Inspector involved, coming to the farm and asking questions.
For the 21st century farmer, such scenarios may be true to life and ones in which bills still need to be paid, stock and feed need to be purchased, work has to be done and decisions made.
It is in the best interest of all farmers and business owners to ensure they are protected in case you they become unable to make certain decisions in relation to the farm or business affairs.
One of the first pro-active decisions to protect your interests, those of your farm and your family, should be to consider making a Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). If no such arrangements exist and you lost capacity you would need a Court appointed Deputy, which can take several months to arrange. How will your business survive during that time with no one able to make decisions on your behalf?
An LPA allows you to appoint someone you know and trust to make decisions for you when you're unable. It might be a family member, an employee or partner in your business, but equally it could be someone independent who knows you well and how you like to make decisions. Once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian the LPA can be used to manage your financial affairs when you cannot.
Higgs & Sons understands that it is often difficult for busy farmers and business owners to find the time to put their personal affairs in order. Making an LPA can seem a low priority when dealing with pressing farm issues. With this in mind, Higgs will tailor their approach to suit your needs, taking instructions at your farm, home or by 'phone, video conference or in person at their offices.
If you would like more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney contact Ian Bond of Higgs & Sons, on 0845 111 5050.
Higgs & Sons is based in the heart of the Black Country at the Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill. The growing team now boasts a team of over 200 available to support clients in a comprehensive range of business and private legal services.