Gibson Kerr: Power of Attorney in Scotland
Scottish families are encouraged to put their financial affairs in order in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
“/>Appointing a power of attorney can help make difficult decisions easier at a difficult time.
According to the Gibson Kerr law firm in Edinburgh, for many people planning the future, having a will that they believe will fully protect their family in the worst case scenario means having in place.
However, many miss the equally important legal protection of a power of attorney that comes in handy when they or a loved one are unable to speak for themselves or make decisions.
What is a power of attorney?
When you grant power of attorney, you make the decision to appoint someone else to act on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so. This takes away a lot of the uncertainty in case something unforeseen should happen.
It’s always better to set this up before you need it. This means your chosen person can intervene immediately if you ever become unable to work – be it due to old age, illness or injury.
According to Gibson Kerr’s Lindsay Maclean, situations like this – although fortunately rare – can happen to anyone at any time in their lives.
“Planning ahead can mean knowing that someone you trust is responsible for making decisions about you and your lifestyle. We hate to think about it, let alone think about it, but it could be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
“Appointing a power of attorney can help make difficult decisions at a difficult time easier for your family and avoid family disputes and disputes,” added Lindsay Maclean.
The most common reason people haven’t considered appointing a power of attorney is because they’re not old or sick. While a Power of Attorney is needed most often when you are older or have an illness, the sooner you can rest assured that your future is in safe hands, whatever happens, the sooner you set it up.
People lose capacity in many ways. This can happen as a result of a decreasing illness such as dementia or it can happen suddenly, for example as a result of an accident or a stroke.
Everyone wants the freedom to make their own decisions throughout their lives, and the appointment of a power of attorney does not take away that freedom. In fact, it helps ensure that decisions are made by someone you have appointed, should the need arise.
Without a power of attorney, the only way to achieve this would be to apply for a guardianship order. This takes away all decisions from you. They would have no choice about who was appointed or what powers they could have; The decisions are made by the court. The process of applying for guardianship can be time consuming and expensive.
The right to make independent decisions is important at any age, especially as we get older. We don’t want to feel like that is being taken away from us.
The first step is to schedule an appointment with a lawyer. They can walk you through the process, answer your questions, follow your instructions, and provide you with additional information and guidance if needed.
Gibson Kerr, personal law attorney, has been helping and advising families in Scotland on personal law for over 100 years. It is a small family business and customer satisfaction is paramount. If you have any questions about power of attorney, planning, or any other personal legal issue, get in touch and the team will be happy to speak to you.
For more information, please visit www.gibsonkerr.co.uk, email [email protected] or call 0131 208 2260.