Power of Attorney Solicitors in Scotland
- Everyone Should Have A Power Of Attorney
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Power of Attorney In Scotland
Many people assume that family members or their next-of-kin will be able to step in and help if they can no longer make decisions on their own. However, simply being a relation is not sufficient to allow someone to manage a loved one’s financial affairs.
A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust, possibly a family member or friend, to act on your behalf if you become unable to manage your affairs. For family members and friends, being granted power of attorney allows them to deal with banks, lawyers, care homes, and the government on your behalf. Without a power of attorney being in place, making legal decisions can be a difficult, expensive, not to mention stressful, process.
If someone has already lost capacity without a Power of Attorney being in place a Guardianship order is necessary. In these circumstances, a court will decide on the most appropriate person to be appointed as Guardian to act in the best interests of the adult with incapacity.
A Guardianship order authorises someone to act and make decisions on behalf of an adult with incapacity on a long term on-going basis. The court also decides how long a Guardianship order can last. On average these tend to be for three years and can be renewed.
We can help you decide whether a Guardianship order is the best course of action and, where it is, to prepare for the court action.
Everyone should have a power of attorney, irrespective of age, simply because no one knows when they may need to rely upon it. The drafting of a good Power of Attorney document is complicated as the document is open to interpretation so using an experienced solicitor is important.
FAQs about Power of Attorney in Scotland
- Disability – something which may affect your health and restrict your ability to make decisions in the future, either temporarily or indefinitely
- Suffering from a cognitive ability illness - such as dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression or schizophrenia
- Travelling – if you are planning a long trip abroad and want reassurance that your assets can be looked after while you’re away
Like your Will, Powers of Attorney should be reviewed on a regular basis, to take account of any changes in your health or personal circumstances (for instance, your children have grown up, you have remarried or have a new partner).
- Continuing (Financial) Power of Attorney – for financial matters
- Welfare Power of Attorney – for making medical and welfare decisions
- Combined Power of Attorney – a combination of both the above
The drafting of a good Power of Attorney document is complicated as the document is open to interpretation so using an experienced solicitor is important. At Harper Macleod, we have over 25 years' experience working with clients on creating and enforcing Power of Attorney rights.
We will work with you to create the most appropriate Power of Attorney document for your circumstances. Once you have a signed Power of Attorney document it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland). The Power of Attorney remains in force until it is revoked or until death.
Accident and illness does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, at any time and at any age. If you are ill or in an accident, no one will automatically have the power to speak up or act for you if you do not have a Power of Attorney. This applies even to your spouse and family members and can cause stress and problems when dealing with doctors, banks and other financial institutions.
You can appoint any number of people to be your Attorney. You can appoint a spouse, a family member, a friend, your solicitor, or anyone else you trust. It can be a combination of people. It is a good idea to have more than one Attorney, or at least have a substitute in case your first named Attorney cannot act for any reason. The important issue is that YOU choose them, unlike a Guardianship Order where the Court chooses who should look after your affairs. They may choose someone you would not want to act for you.
No. The Welfare Power of Attorney only comes into effect in the event that you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, and the Continuing (financial) Power of Attorney can only be used either on your authority or if you have lost capacity and cannot act on your own behalf.
We offer you a variety of ways to get in contact with us to suit you. If you would prefer to talk to someone straight away you can call our offices on:
Elgin: 01343 542623
Otherwise use our form below to find out more information, make an appointment or request a callback. We will then find the right person to deal with your enquiry and get back to you as soon as possible.
Power of attorney & guardianships team in Scotland
We have one of the largest and most experienced teams of lawyers in Scotland, with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Thurso. We can ensure that a member of the team is on hand to discuss your wishes.
Our team has more than 25 years’ experience working with clients on creating and enforcing power of attorney rights and obtaining guardianship orders.
We have teams across Scotland, to speak to a local private client solicitor please call the local number or click on the names below to find out more about their experience. We'll make sure you speak to the correct person depending on your request.
Elgin: 01343 542623