Power of attorney & guardianships
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.
Everyone should have a power of attorney, irrespective of age, simply because no one knows when they may need to rely upon it.
Get in touch to discuss power of attorney or guardianships
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Power of attorney
Everyone should have a Power of Attorney, irrespective of age, simply because no one knows when they may need to rely upon it.
Some common reasons to grant a Power of Attorney include:
- 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
There are three different types of Power of Attorney in Scotland:
- 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.
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).
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.
Our power of attorney & guardianships team
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.
Call 0141 227 9551 or click on the names below to find out more about our team's experience.
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