A power of attorney allows someone close to you to make all the financial and legal decisions for you at a time when you’re not able to do so. Our experienced power of attorney solicitors are based in Glasgow and welcome enquiries from all over Scotland.
Planning ahead is always a prudent thing as we don’t know what the future holds for us. If you have reached a point in life where you can no longer make all the important decisions concerning your personal and financial affairs or maybe you’re concerned about your future ability to do so, you can opt for a POA (power of attorney) that gives someone of your choosing the authority to take actions or make decisions on your behalf.
A power of attorney is different from a Will. A Will takes care of matters when you have gone; a power of attorney takes care of you while you are still here. A Power of Attorney is not just for the older members of the population. Unfortunately, illness and accidents can occur no matter what age you are.
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You may not have considered a power of attorney because you think your family will look after you should anything happen to you which meant you were unable to make decisions for yourself.
However, your next of kin does not have an automatic legal right to make all decisions on your behalf. A continuing power of attorney is the easiest and most cost effective way to ensure things are taken care of, hassle free.
An Attorney can either be an individual or the authority can be shared between two individuals, but must be over the age of 16. The chosen individual(s) should be someone who the Granter holds trust in, and has had a long-standing association with. Apart from a family member or a friend, the Attorney can also be a qualified professional, like a solicitor or an accountant, or a combination of the two. Separate Attorneys can be appointed to handle financial matters and personal well-being
There are three types of power of attorney available to those residing in Scotland: Continuing PoA, Welfare PoA, and Combined PoA.
Continuing PoA bestows powers to manage financial matters and/or property from the Granter to the Attorney. These powers can be used immediately after the PoA document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Welfare PoA bestows the Attorney the authority to make decisions about the Granter’s healthcare or personal welfare matters. These powers may only be acted upon once the PoA has been registered, and the Granter has officially lost mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
A Combined PoA is a legal document that grants the Attorney to make decisions regarding financial matters, property, healthcare, and personal welfare on behalf of the Granter. However, it’s the Granter’s choice exactly what the Attorney has authority over.
If you are thinking of appointing someone as an Attorney, we can help. Our solicitors are ready to advise you.
If you’re unable to make a visit to our office, we can come to visit you at a time that is convenient for you. We can arrange a solicitor to visit your home in order to complete the power of attorney document for an additional fee of £50 plus VAT at a time and day that suits you within the Glasgow City Council area. For areas out of the Glasgow City Council boundaries please contact us and we will be pleased to provide a quote.
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In Scotland, a Power of Attorney can take effect either immediately upon signing or at a specified future date, depending on your instructions in the document. Be sure to discuss this with your chosen attorney(s) so they understand their responsibilities and when they can begin making decisions on your behalf. A Continuing Power of Attorney, and a Welfare Power of Attorney, can have different activation triggers, so make sure to specify your intentions clearly for each type if you create both.
If you want your Power of Attorney to take effect immediately upon signing, it means that your chosen attorney(s) can start making decisions and taking actions on your behalf as soon as the document is properly executed and registered (if required). This immediate effect can be helpful if you anticipate needing assistance, even when you are still capable of making decisions on your own. However, it’s crucial to select a trusted attorney if you choose this option, as they will have immediate authority.
Many people choose to create a Power of Attorney that comes into effect only when they become incapable of making decisions themselves. This is often referred to as a “springing” Power of Attorney. In this case, you can specify the conditions or triggers that will activate the Power of Attorney. Typically, the triggering condition is your incapacity or inability to make decisions due to physical or mental illness. Your attorney(s) will need to provide evidence, such as a medical opinion, to confirm your incapacity before they can act on your behalf.
The cost can vary based on the document’s complexity, but typically, a simple Power of Attorney can be drafted for a fee ranging from £250 to £350, plus VAT. Additionally, there will be a registration fee of £85 owed to the Public Guardian.