Have you ever taken a moment to consider what would happen to your money, your house, or your personal welfare, if you lost your ability to make clear decisions or think clearly or simply couldn’t get to the bank because you were out of the country?
In Scotland, once you reach the age of 16, you are legally in charge of both your welfare and financial affairs. No one can make decisions on your behalf and the law does not take into consideration any verbal agreements you may have made previously.
In a situation where you don’t have a Power of Attorney (POA), family or friends will need to apply to the courts to be able to act on your behalf. Needless to say, that it will be time-consuming and costly for them. Having a POA makes the process more straightforward and allows you to decide who can act for you if something happens, what specific powers they will or will not have and when they can exercise them.
Let’s check together what you need to know about the Power of Attorney in Scotland and how MM Legal can help you.
The basics you need to know
As stated above, a POA is a way of giving someone else permission to make decisions about your personal welfare, including your health, money, and property. It can also be used if you are physically unable to get to the phone or the bank because you are out of the country or temporarily unwell. It’s a written legal document that allows the person chosen to make decisions on your behalf either permanently or during interim periods.
The person who gives the powers is the granter and the person who is given the powers is the attorney. The latter must be someone whom you can rely on, it can be a member of your family, a friend, or a solicitor, or sometimes both acting together as more than one person can be named. In case the sole attorney chosen is enabled to act for you, a new power of attorney must be drawn up.
A POA can be helpful in temporary situations if you’re in the hospital or abroad for example, or in longer-term situations, rather you are anticipating the unexpected or were diagnosed with a condition causing a diminution of your mental capacity.
Types of Power of Attorney in Scotland
Under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, there are three types of POA in Scotland:
– Continuing POA that gives powers to deal with money and/or property.
– Welfare POA that gives powers to make decisions around health or personal welfare matters.
– Combined POA, which gives continuing and welfare powers.
A POA is simple to do with MM Legal
Our Senior Solicitor, Erika Watt would meet with you to discuss your needs, who of your family or friends you trust to act for you should you not be able to do so (can also be a solicitor or other professional) and arrange for a draft document to be sent to you.
A second appointment would then be arranged. This can be in the comfort of your own home or another place of your choosing. Where the document would then be signed. Once signed the document would be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
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