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Power of Attorney Solicitor in Glasgow, The Glasgow Law Practice Guide to Powers of Attorney

Our Glasgow lawyers can provide advice in respect of all power of attorney matters. Our guide gives general advice. Specific legal advice should alwats be sought.

WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY?
 
It is a written document which gives someone else authority to make decisions or act on your behalf. You choose the person(s) you want to help you, called an ‘attorney’, and you, ‘the granter’, decide what powers the attorney should have.

WHY WOULD YOU NEED A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

It allows you to appoint someone to take care of your affairs that you are incapable of managing yourself. It also lets you plan what you would want someone to do for you in the future.

 It is a good idea to draw up and register a Power of Attorney straight away as this provides a safeguard for you if your capacity becomes impaired. You will be able to choose who should be appointed and be actively involved in the decision making process.

Registering a Power of Attorney does not mean that they will automatically start acting on your behalf straight away. You can specify a date or event which means that the powers contained in the Power of Attorney cannot be used with immediate effect.

WHAT DOES ‘INCAPABLE’ MEAN?

Someone’s capacity could be impaired gradually or suddenly as a result of accident or illness. A medical practitioner will be able to advise on how capable an individual is.

WHAT CAN YOU PUT IN A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

There are two kinds of Powers of Attorney:
1. Continuing Power of Attorney which deals with your financial affairs. This may include for example powers to purchase or sell property; open, close or manage any account containing your funds and to claim and receive on your behalf all pensions and benefits to which you are entitled.
2. Welfare Power of Attorney which concerns your personal welfare. This may include the power to decide where you should live and to consent or withhold consent to medical treatment for you, where not specifically disallowed by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 e.g. your attorney cannot place you in hospital for the treatment of a mental disorder against your will.

In either case it is advisable you discuss your feelings and wishes regarding the exercise of your powers with your prospective Attorney. This will ensure you both have an understanding about what you want to happen in the event you become unable to make decisions or act for yourself in a particular regard.
WHO CAN YOU APPOINT AS YOUR ATTORNEY?

You can appoint anyone you wish to be your Power of Attorney – a friend or family member, solicitor or accountant, or a combination of both.
You can appoint someone to manage your financial affairs and someone different to supervise your personal welfare.

You can also appoint joint attorneys with similar or different powers. If you appoint joint attorneys they will have to act together and both be involved in any decision making on your behalf. If you wish them to be able to act together or separately, provision for this can be included within the Power of Attorney.

There is also the option to appoint a substitute attorney who would take the place of an attorney who dies or resigns.

HOW DO YOU GET A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A solicitor can assist you in obtaining and drawing up a Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney should include a certificate signed by a practising solicitor, Member of the Faculty of Advocates or registered medical practitioner, stating that you are capable of understanding the Power of Attorney. 

HOW DO YOU REGISTER THE POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A registration form needs to be completed and returned to the Office of Public Guardian, accompanied with the Power of Attorney document, signed certificate and appropriate registration fee.

HOW LONG DOES A POWER OF ATTORNEY LAST?

A Power of Attorney generally lasts indefinitely.

CAN YOUR ATTORNEY USE THE POWER OF ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU BECOME INCAPABLE?

Your appointed attorney can make decisions regarding your financial affairs before you become incapable. However, they cannot manage your personal welfare until such time as you are unable to do it yourself.

WOULD YOUR FAMILY OR PARTNER BE ABLE TO HELP WITHOUT A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

No. No one can automatically take actions on your behalf without the legal authority to do so.  In the absence of a Power of Attorney your family or friends may have to go to court to obtain the authority to act on your behalf – an expensive and time consuming process.

CAN YOU CANCEL A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

You may revoke the Continuing or Welfare Power of Attorney, or any of the powers granted in it as long as the Power of Attorney has been registered with the Public Guardian.

WHAT IS REQUIRED TO REVOKE A REGISTERED POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A written document called a Revocation Notice is needed which sets out what the granter wishes to revoke e.g. the complete Power of Attorney or specified powers. The document must be signed by the granter and must incorporate a certificate by either a practising solicitor, Member of the Faculty of Advocates or registered medical practitioner stating they are happy you understand the effect of the Revocation Notice and are not acting under any influence which should prevent the revocation. The Revocation notice and certificate should then be sent to the Office of Public Guardian for registration. There is no fee to do such.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR ATTORNEY RESIGNS?

Registration of your attorney shall not have effect until the end of a period of 28 days, starting on the date of receipt by the Public Guardian of notification of resignation. If, however, there is recorded a substitute or joint attorney, resignation shall take immediate effect provided there is evidence that substitute/joint attorney is willing to act on your behalf.

This guide is simply a guide and should not specifically be relied upon. Please contact our lawyers on {{CONTACT_NUMBER_CONTENT}} for specific legal advice.