There may come a time when you can’t manage your own affairs or look after yourself. You might want to give someone else the ability to deal with your health or money and property matters if you have an accident or get an illness, for example. But many companies and banks won’t discuss your business with anyone except you. This is where a Power of Attorney comes in.
A Power of Attorney lets you choose someone you know and trust to make decisions for you about:
- · Your health
- · Your money and property
- · Both of these
You can choose more than one person. Whoever you choose is called your “attorney.” Your “attorney” doesn’t need to be a solicitor – that’s just what they are called. He or she could be a family member, a friend or a solicitor. You can also have a mix of people – a family member and a solicitor acting together for example.
The time to set up a Power of Attorney is now, when you can take your time and choose someone you trust to look after you and your affairs.
Having a Power of Attorney lets you plan what you want another person to do for you in the future, should you become incapable of making decisions about your own affairs.
PoA is a written document which includes a certificate signed either by a solicitor who can practise law in Scotland or by a registered UK medical doctor who holds a licence to practise.
There are 3 types:
- Continuing PoA – gives powers to deal with money and/or property
- Welfare PoA – gives powers to make decisions around health or personal welfare matters
- Combined PoA – gives continuing and welfare powers
More information is available via Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) and My Power of Attorney in Scotland
Alzheimer Scotland provides a wide range of specialist services for people with dementia and their carers. We offer personalised support services, community activities, information and advice, at every stage of the dementia journey.
Legal aid is help towards the costs of legal advice and representation, for those who qualify. It is designed to help individuals on low and modest incomes gain access to the legal system.
Find out more at www.slab.org.uk
The Office of the Public Guardian supports and advises those assisting someone with mental incapacity. They can be contacted on 01324 678300. Their website offers a lot of helpful information.
Solicitors for Older People Scotland (SOPS) is a group of solicitors dedicated to providing legal services to older and vulnerable people in a caring way. SOPS members are committed to providing Power of Attorney under the Legal Aid scheme to clients who qualify.
Find out more at www.sops.org.uk