Is there a right time to set up a Power of Attorney?

Most of our clients think that you only need to set up a Power of Attorney when you become old. They never do define what “old” actually is. Despite this misconception, nothing could be further from the truth.

As we go through life, there is always the risk of an accident or a severe illness. These can happen anytime, irrespective of age. If you have an accident or a severe illness that renders you incapacitated, it may be too late then to set up a Power of Attorney.

You could think of a Power of Attorney as an insurance policy – there just in case you need it. A Power of Attorney can exist and have no impact on your affairs at all. You can still make all your own decisions even if you’ve set up a Power of Attorney.

Originally, Powers of Attorney were granted when people were not able to look after their own affairs. This usually had nothing to do with incapacity. The would grant a Power of Attorney if, for instance, they were going abroad for an extended period of time and needed someone here to deal with their affairs in their absence. We still draw up Powers of Attorney like this for clients today. The problem with this type of Power of Attorney, however, is that if you become incapacitated, it can no longer be used.

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 now means that you can set up a Power of Attorney that will remain effective even if you’ve become incapacitated.

What are my choices when I set up a Power of Attorney?

Under the 2000 Act, there are two types of Power of Attorney available. These are a Continuing Power of Attorney and a Welfare Power of Attorney.

A Continuing Power of Attorney allows your attorney to deal with your financial affairs even though you’ve become incapacitated. A Welfare Power of Attorney, allows your attorney to make decisions about your welfare. Frequently, these are combined into a single Combined Power of Attorney.

The benefits of having a Power of Attorney in place are immense. It means you can choose someone to be your attorney who would make the same kinds of decisions you would make yourself. You can put your Power of Attorney in place and continue with your life without it having any impact at all. You can instruct that your Power of Attorney will not be effective unless you are no longer able to look after your own affairs. Alternatively, you can ask your attorney to do things for you even though you are perfectly capable of doing them yourself.

In fact, some people consider a Power of Attorney to be a convenient tool in addition to being an excellent insurance policy!

So, no matter what age you are, any time is the right time to set up a Power of Attorney . And that time might be right now!

If you would like us to set up a Power of Attorney for you, please complete this short form and send it to us.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Alternatively, call us on 0141 647 9851 or email Martin Berman at

Before you go

If you’re interested in setting up a Power of Attorney, you might be interested in these articles:

Two important documents everyone should have

Making a Power of Attorney with Carr Berman Crichton

What does it cost to set up a Power of Attorney?