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A legal professional who specialises in power of attorney has been named December’s North Tyneside Business of the Month.

Tynemouth based Grays Powers of Attorney was set up by Sarah Gray – a non-practising qualified solicitor and – to help people prepare for a time when they may be unable to care for themselves.

The trained solicitor recognised a growing need – particularly amongst our ageing population – for official, legally binding Powers of Attorney and living wills and decided to set up a business dedicated to providing this support.

She said: “People are generally aware of the need to have a will in place so that in the event of their death there are clear instructions about their estate. But far less people give consideration to what will happen if they are no longer able to manage their own affairs and need the support of a relative or friend. If you lose capacity no-one can deal with your property and finances or your health and care. Your assets are effectively frozen, which includes joint assets and accounts, and third parties can decide on your treatment and where you will live/what care you will receive.

“Getting a lasting power of attorney enables you to decide who is going to make decisions for you and allows them to handle your affairs and get the treatment and care you would want when you are not able to make those decisions and ensures that your affairs are handled by people you trust implicitly, avoiding the need for loved ones to apply to the Court of Protection which is a lengthy, expensive and onerous process.

“People often only consider power of attorney at the time of need but in many cases this can be too late. I would advise people to consider putting something in place as early as possible; whilst you might not like to think about it, you really never know what is around the corner and when you might need it.”

She added: “I’m delighted to have been named North Tyneside Business of the Month; North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory really has been instrumental in helping me to grow my business. I’ve received professional marketing support through The Business Factory’s consultancy programme to help with my branding and literature which is so important to get right when dealing with such a sensitive issue.

Karen Westgate, project officer at North Tyneside Council said: “Setting up on your own in business is a huge challenge and can often feel like quite a lonely experience. The Business Factory provides a huge support network so that people needn’t face those challenges alone but can access the help and support of a range of professional consultants or tap in to a wide network of other local businesses.

“It’s great to see someone like Sarah who regularly attends and supports our events having the spotlight shone on her business.”

North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory launched the Business of the Month campaign earlier this year to highlight the quality and variety of the businesses based here in North Tyneside and to provide ongoing support to the borough’s new and existing SMEs.

Any SME in North Tyneside can nominate themselves or somebody they know to be crowned Business of the Month; simply provide a reason for selection and come along to the monthly business coffee morning held the first Friday of every month.

As Business of the Month, The Business Factory will help to promote the chosen company via a range of digital and traditional communication channels – including support from the News Guardian.

Nominations can be tweeted to The Business Factory using the #NTCBiz, posted on its Facebook page or emailed to info@businessfactorynt.co.uk

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