This is the time of year when many of my business customers give me what is called a Non-Continuing Power of Attorney. These are smart business people that realize they may be delayed in returning to their businesses when on vacation or at conferences. While either the long or short delay on returning could be attributed to bad weather or health issues, they still have a business that needs to operate at the effectiveness and efficiency as if they were there. So what is a Non-Continuing Power of Attorney?
A Non-Continuing Power of Attorney details the tasks that an attorney is allowed to do on your behalf, and for a specified length of time. An attorney can be a legal professional, but is also defined as a person appointed to act as an agent on the grantor’s behalf. The attorney could be a relative, friend, business associate or a person whose business is to act as an agent or power of attorney.
Here’s a short list of some of the responsibilities my customer’s want me to do should they be unable to attend to their businesses for a period of time;
- Prepare payroll and remit source deductions
- Deal with any government bodies on their behalf
- Ensure invoicing is done in a timely manner and bills are paid
- Bank deposits are made
- Inform their vendors and customers that operations are continuing as usual until notified otherwise
- Respond to issues posted to Social Media
- Deal with appointments that need to be rescheduled
Whether you have a Continuing or Non-Continuing Power of Attorney for your business, you need at some point to share where your passwords are kept. There are a number of software applications that can help keep all your passwords in one place, and your Power of Attorney then only needs that one password. Without access to passwords, the abilities of your attorney can be greatly restricted.
A Non-Continuing Power of Attorney is automatically revoked if the grantor becomes mentally incapacitated. So you will want to make sure you also have a Continuing Power of Attorney in place. It is also terminated if the grantor dies.
By establishing a Non-Continuing Power of Attorney, the business can operate without a possible lengthy and perhaps expensive process to have the court appoint a Power of Attorney. There is no special form that needs to be completed, but I do suggest you work with your lawyer to prepare one. In Ontario the Power of Attorney must be over 18 years of age. The person must also be someone you Trust, and has business knowledge and experience.
Many of us get caught up in the excitement of finally getting away from our business for time on the beach or the ski slopes. And there is usually extensive work in making sure everything is organized and those you leave behind to run the business know exactly what needs to be done. But don’t forget to legally give someone the power to run your business until your return. You want a business to come back to.
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Until next time,
The team at OPEBE