Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives someone legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another adult.
This document allows the Attorney to deal with the financial affairs and, if necessary, to make decisions about the welfare of the person who has appointed them. This can help to give peace of mind to a person’s family when they lose capacity whether due to age, infirmity or accident.
It is useful to have this in place once it becomes impractical, or legally impossible (due to incapacity) for a person to manage their own affairs.
The Power of Attorney document can include the power to pay bills, to manage bank accounts, to collect pension and benefit payments, and to make decisions regarding the care arrangements of the granter. It is increasingly common for banks and Local Authorities to insist upon a Power of Attorney before allowing a person’s family members to take steps on their behalf.
The benefit of a Power of Attorney is that such powers can be used as little or as often as a person’s attorney sees fit and can remain in place through the granter’s lifetime.
If a person over the age of 16 loses capacity without a Power of Attorney being in place then it may be necessary for their family to go to court to obtain a Guardianship Order, should they wish to make decisions about the adult’s care arrangements and manage their financial affairs. Free non-means tested legal aid is available for Guardianships where there is a welfare power sought.
If you have a family member who is already in care and has lost capacity, for example, because of Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Disability, we can assist you to obtain Guardianship.
More information about Guardianship can be found on the website of the Office of the Public Guardian for Scotland.
Hilland McNulty regularly advise clients in this area, and our experienced team are on hand to deal with your case promptly and sensitively.
Please contact us on 01555 663020 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about Powers of Attorney or Guardianship.