Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby
one person (the Grantor) appoints another person
(the Attorney) to make decisions and act for
them; these responsibilities can relate to property
and financial affairs or welfare matters or
Any individual who has capacity can grant a
Power of Attorney, the Grantor must also usually
be over the age of 16. The Grantor must have
full legal capacity to grant a Power of Attorney;
this means that he/she must be capable of giving
instructions to a solicitor and must understand
the nature and extent of the powers that they
An Attorney can be anyone over the age of 16
who has capacity. A Grantor normally chooses
a family member as their Attorney however it
can be anyone they choose, it should always
be someone the Grantor trusts implicitly due
to the nature of the powers available to the
Attorney within the Power of Attorney document.
A Grantor may appoint more than one Attorney
and can also appoint a Substitute Attorney to
act in the event the original Attorney is no
longer able to.
A Power of Attorney is a useful document to
allow individuals to prepare for a time when
they are unable to make decisions for themselves.
They are quick and fairly easy to prepare and
can be tailored to the needs of an individual.
The Power of Attorney document has to be registered
with the Office of the Public Guardian and cannot
be used until such times as it has been registered.
A Power of Attorney is an 'in life' document
and one of the ways it comes to an end is on
the death of the Grantor, the wishes of the
Grantor will then be determined by their Will,
please see our section on Wills.
As mentioned above a Grantor must have capacity
to instruct a solicitor to draft a Power of
Attorney on his/her behalf. If the Grantor has
lost capacity, under the Adults with Incapacity
(Scotland) Act 2000, anybody with an interest
can apply to the Sheriff Court to be appointed
as an individual's Guardian to manage the finances
and/or make decisions about the welfare of the
incapable adult. The standard term for a guardianship
appointment is 3 years. This procedure is far
more complex and more time consuming than having
a Power of Attorney document drawn up and the
powers tend to be far more restrictive.
We provide comprehensive advice on both Powers
of Attorney and Guardianships. We offer Legal
Aid for both of these services if required.
Please contact our Saltcoats office on 01294
464301 to make an appointment with a member
of our Private Client Team to discuss your individual