A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that allows an individual, known as the 'Granter', to appoint another person, known as the 'Attorney', to act on their behalf in legal, financial, and welfare matters.
The PoA gives the Attorney the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the Granter and act in their best interests when they are no longer capable of doing so.
There are two types of PoA in Scotland:
- Continuing Power of Attorney: This type of PoA grants the Attorney the power to make decisions on the Granter's behalf in relation to their financial and property affairs; and
- Welfare Power of Attorney: This type of PoA grants the Attorney the power to make decisions on the Granter's behalf in relation to their personal welfare, including decisions about healthcare, accommodation, and daily living.
The PoA must be granted while the Granter has the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
It is a legal requirement for the Granter to fully understand the implications of granting a PoA, and the Attorney must always act in the Granter’s best interests.
It is important to carefully consider who to appoint as an Attorney, as they will have significant legal authority over the Granter's affairs. It is also recommended to seek legal advice when creating a PoA from one of our specialist Private Client Solicitors to ensure that the document is properly drafted and executed in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.
For those who lose capacity and do not have a Power of Attorney in place then a court action will be required to obtain powers to manage the individual’s financial and welfare affairs. This is a much more expensive process, both in terms of time and money, than granting a Power of Attorney while you are able.
If you would like to discuss further please contact one of our team.