GIVE THE GIFT OF LEGAL SECURITY THIS CHRISTMAS

GIVE THE GIFT OF LEGAL SECURITY THIS CHRISTMAS

SOMETIMES it's the little things that make the biggest difference.

Rushing back to double check you've locked your apartment door, a spray of cologne before a job interview or packing your laptop charger before a long meeting.

Elder Law expert, Brian Herd (pictured), knows just how crucial it is to be prepared for the unlikely, and to make sure everything is set in place in the event something happens to a family member, especially as they grow older.

Herd believes that a crucial ingredient to the success of many family businesses lies in how well the business operators manage succession, especially as their parents  the business founders - age.

"It is a case of working on your ageing parents as much your own business that will keep your business surviving and thriving," he says.

Simple legal mechanisms can make all the difference in the instance that a parent in control of a business takes a turn for the worst and can no longer manage the company effectively.

Herd tells the story of a family business that collapsed after the patriarch controlling the business suffered a stroke.

The business collapsed because the father was the only one who had the legal power to make administrative decisions.

By the time his four children fought each other in QCAT for administration rights, the business had collapsed and fallen into liquidation.

Herd says this could have been avoided through a very simple legal mechanism.

"Dad's failure to ensure he had this base covered in the first place by simply putting in place an enduring power of attorney who could have come in to the business immediately as the crisis occurred and even, perhaps, saved it from destruction and the family from implosion," says Herd.

Herd suggests that families should be coming up with plans to not only ensure against  destruction, but 'insure' against the potential disasters that follow a business without any back-up plans.

"Maybe we should think about wrapping our cheers and fears in a special post-Christmas gift to our parents, arranging for them to have their own enduring power of attorney done, we will even gift wrap it for them," says Herd.

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