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Why is having a Power of Attorney so important?

You may have heard of a Power of Attorney but never actually considered why you may need one. There is a common misconception that a Power of Attorney is only useful for those who are older, but creating a Power of Attorney is something to consider carefully at any age.

What is a Power of Attorney?

In basic terms, it is a legal document that gives another person or people the right to decide on your behalf. This could be limited to certain aspects of your affairs, such as financial matters or healthcare and welfare matters, or it can be broader in scope. 

Types of Power of Attorney

There are a few different types of Power of Attorney in Scotland, it is worth taking some time to consider which may be right for you. Our expert team at Watersrule would be more than happy to help you make this decision. 

Continuing Power of Attorney

A Continuing Power of Attorney allows someone else to make decisions relating to your financial and property matters. This could include allowing the person to

  • Manage your bank accounts
  • Sell your assets or home 
  • Claim benefits you are entitled to

A Continuing Power of Attorney can be used at any point and continue for as long as you decide. If you only want the person to have the right to deal with your financial affairs when you lose the capacity to do so yourself, then the Power of Attorney document should make this clear.

Welfare Power of Attorney

A Welfare Power of Attorney gives others the right to make decisions about your health and welfare. This can include

  • Medical decisions
  • Decisions about where you live
  • What type of care you will receive

A Welfare Power of Attorney cannot be used while you still have the capacity to make these decisions for yourself. 

Combined Power of Attorney

A Combined Power of Attorney is a combination of the Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney roles. It grants rights to others to look after your health, welfare, and financial affairs.

Why should I have one?

One of the most important reasons why everyone should consider appointing a Power of Attorney is that no other person automatically has the right to make decisions for you if you lose capacity. This means that if you do not have a Power of Attorney, your friends or family members would not be able to make any decisions on your behalf if you were unable to do so.

Without a Power of Attorney already set up, your loved ones would have to obtain a Guardianship Order from the Court. This can be a long, expensive and difficult process in what is already likely to be a trying time. Therefore, creating a Power of Attorney earlier in your life can allow you to plan and avoid any more stress being created if something happens to you.

Who can I appoint?

You can appoint almost anyone you want over the age of 16 to be your Attorney. For example, you may appoint your

  • Spouse/partner
  • Children
  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Solicitor

It is usually a good idea to appoint more than one person as your Power of Attorney, or to have what is known as a ‘substitute Attorney’ in case one or more of those you have appointed cannot carry out their duties. 

Ultimately, it is important to choose those you can trust to deal with your financial and welfare matters in a way that best reflects your wishes. It is a good idea to take some time to consider who to appoint and discuss this with them.

How do I set up a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney document must be in writing and certified by a solicitor or medical practitioner to ensure you have the capacity to grant these rights. After this, the document must be registered with a public body known as the Office of the Public Guardian.  

Powers of Attorney Lawyers in Stirling & Tillicoultry

Our experienced team at Watersrule have the skills to help you decide what type of Power of Attorney is appropriate for you, draft the documents required to create this, and give you peace of mind. 

If you are considering a Power of Attorney, please contact us on 01259 753 330 (Tillicoultry) or 01786 235 235 (Stirling) or fill in our enquiry form here

What to do after a death in Scotland? Help and adv
Please note that watersrule solicitors ARE NOT registered to provide Legal Aid or other types of Legal Financial Assistance.

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Michael, Tillicoultry