Power Of Attorney Solicitors Shetland
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Powers of Attorney Solicitors Shetland
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 or welfare matters.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf. The document specifies the powers that you give to your attorneys and there are three different types of Power of Attorney:
- General: usually created for a set amount of time or for a specific issue, for example if you are living abroad.
- Continuing: created to allow the attorney to manage your financial affairs or property. It can be granted to take effect either immediately or in the event that you lose capacity to handle matters yourself.
- Welfare: enables the attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare, such as medical decisions. These powers cannot be exercised until you become incapable of making such decisions yourself.
The most common form is a combined Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney that deals with both your financial and welfare affairs in one document. You can appoint anyone over the age of 16 as your attorney, provided that they are willing to act and have not been declared bankrupt.
Responsibilities of an Attorney
Your attorney should be someone you trust. Your attorney could be your spouse/civil partner, your children, a family member, a friend or a solicitor. If you are appointed as an attorney you must first confirm that you are willing to act for the granter. As an attorney you will have various duties and responsibilities. These include:
- keeping records of the exercise of your powers
- keeping the granter's financial affairs separate from your own
- and notifying the OPG in certain circumstances such as changes of address or if you decide to resign.
The Scottish Government provides a code of practice for continuing and welfare attorneys which should be followed.
Additionally, the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 provides that certain principles must be observed when exercising powers on behalf of someone else:
- No action should be taken unless it will benefit the granter.
- Any action that is taken should be the least restrictive option; intervention should be as minimal as possible.
- The past and present wishes of the granter should be taken into account.
- The granter's views and the views of others with an interest (such as carers and family members) must be determined before making any decision.
- The granter should be encouraged to exercise their skills as far as possible in managing their affairs.
What should you do?
Granting a Power of Attorney in Scotland is an excellent, effective and straightforward way to plan for future management of your affairs. The benefits far outweigh the pitfalls.
If you would be interested in a Power of Attorney, Harper Macleod has one of the largest and most experienced teams of lawyers in Shetland but with offices across Scotland. Our team has more than 25 years’ experience working with clients on creating and enforcing Power of Attorney rights.
Otherwise use our form below to find out more information, make an appointment or request a call back. We will then find the right person to deal with your enquiry and get back to you as soon as possible.
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