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With a power of attorney, you can appoint someone to act on your behalf. This can continue even if you lose capacity.

What do you have to consider when setting up a power of attorney?

Who should my lawyer be?

It is very important that you choose a suitable individual to be your lawyer. You should be someone you trust and rely on to get your business done. We encourage you to appoint more than one attorney in case your primary attorney is unable to act on your behalf for any reason (e.g. if he becomes ill). It is also a good idea to consider practical issues when deciding who is best suited for the legal role. For example, if your lawyer lives abroad, he may not be particularly quick to act on your affairs in Scotland.

What powers should my attorney have?

Powers within a power of attorney are interpreted restrictively. Therefore, it is a good idea to give your attorney a wide range of powers of attorney. Powers may include being able to look after your financial affairs (such as accessing your bank accounts and paying your bills) and personal well-being (such as what type of hospital treatment you should be receiving or where you should be staying) take care of. Powers related to your financial affairs can be exercised once the power of attorney is registered with the Guardian’s Office, while welfare powers only come into effect when you lose capacity.

When should I set up a power of attorney?

There is a misunderstanding that powers of attorney only apply to the elderly. However, we recommend that people of all ages, regardless of your circumstances, establish a power of attorney. It is important that you have the capacity when you sign your power of attorney. Therefore, it is always a good idea to set up a power of attorney sooner rather than later.

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