What Happens If I Don't Have a Power of Attorney in Scotland? | Watermans

What happens if I don’t have a Power of Attorney in Scotland

If you suddenly become mentally or physically incapacitated due to injury or illness, having a Power of Attorney in place can relieve some of the pressure by allowing someone of your choosing to take care of you and your affairs, either temporarily or permanently.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict this happening, so having a plan in place for your health and welfare is crucial. By appointing an attorney, you have peace of mind that if anything were to happen, you would be safe and cared for as per your wishes.

What is meant by a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document setting out who you wish to manage your affairs if you were to become incapacitated as a result of an accident or illness. The person who you appoint can make decisions on your behalf relating to your care, welfare, medical treatment and/or finances, so it’s important to choose someone that you know and trust.

What happens if you don’t have a Power of Attorney?

If you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your affairs, your loved ones will need to apply to the Sheriff Court for a Guardianship Order if you currently have no Power of Attorney in place. This process can be time-consuming and expensive, causing further worry for your friends and family.

The Court will appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. Depending on the circumstances, this may not be the person that you wished to be in charge of your care and financial affairs.

Is it too late to set up a Power of Attorney?

If you have recently been diagnosed with a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, you might think that it’s too late to set up a Power of Attorney. This isn’t always the case; although having a Power of Attorney in place prior to a diagnosis is the desired arrangement, it is possible to set one up afterwards.

Following your diagnosis, you can request a letter from your GP stating their professional opinion on whether you have the capacity to understand the implications of signing a Power of Attorney document.

How to set up a Power of Attorney in Scotland

You can draft and register a Power of Attorney document to the Office of the Public Guardian yourself, however, you risk making mistakes and omitting valuable information leading to complications further down the line.

It is recommended that you use a solicitor for this service; solicitors are well-versed in drafting Power of Attorney documents, and can advise on the extent of the information required in the document to avoid potential issues with decision-making on your behalf in the future.

This year, Watermans are offering a 50% discount on Power of Attorney services if you book your appointment this September. Contact our team on 0131 555 7055, or by filling out the form below, to arrange your appointment.

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“I’m regularly told that I don’t seem like the average solicitor – and that makes me happy. Who aspires to be average? What makes me different is that I put myself in my client’s shoes and aim to find solutions to their needs and situations. I work side by side with them to ensure that we achieve the best outcome possible.“

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