Make a Power of Attorney
We believe making a Power of Attorney is very important. In very basic terms, a Power of Attorney is a document that enables someone else to do things for you when you can’t do them. This doesn’t always mean that you’re incapable of doing things, it’s just that it’s convenient. In times gone by, a Power of Attorney might have been granted by someone living abroad in favour of someone living in Scotland. It would enable the attorney to sign off documents and do things for the granter when they were absent from Scotland. Even if one has been granted, you can still do things yourself. If you no longer need your it, you can always cancel it.
In modern times and with an ageing population, it’s common to find older people granting a Power of Attorney. Frequently it is granted in favour of their children to enable them to make decisions should their parents be unable to make decisions for themselves.
The law we describe in these pages relates to the law of Scotland. Powers of Attorney are, of course, available in other countries but different rules may apply.
Making a Power of Attorney - how do I do it?
We’ll discuss what you need to do and what kind of Power of Attorney you’re looking to grant. You can choose to grant one that’s straight forward. Alternatively, you may grant a Financial or Welfare or a combined Financial & Welfare one. These are the main options available to you. We will advise you of what it contains, how it works in practice and what powers your attorney or attorneys will enjoy. You decide who your attorneys will be and whether you need a joint appointment. If you have more than one attorney, you can ask them to act jointly or allow each one to act on their own.
What types are there?
A Power of Attorney can be general and grant general of specific permissions to someone to do things on your behalf. More recently, we’ve seen Financial or Welfare versions or, more commonly, a combined Financial & Welfare option. As the names of these latter two suggest, the Financial option allows someone to make financial decisions for you and to deal with your financial affairs.The Welfare option allows someone to make decisions about your wellbeing and care requirements.
How are they controlled?
Once granted, a Financial or Welfare (or a combined Financial and Welfare) Power of Attorney is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland. This can be done at the point of granting it or at some trigger point in the future. The purpose of this is to provide protection to the granters. You can find more information on the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) by clicking here.
Can I cancel a Power of Attorney?
Yes, you can. You can revoke (cancel) it if you decide that’s what you want to do.
In conjunction with a Will, a Power of Attorney is much like an insurance policy. It means that you have someone available who can look after your affairs if you’re no longer able to do that yourself. This means it may avoid having a Guardian appointed – something which can be expensive and time consuming!
Make a Power of Attorney today
Don’t get caught out if you can no longer look after your own affairs