Power of Attorney Edinburgh & Lothians

Power of Attorney Edinburgh & Lothians

Our expertise is your peace of mind

Making a Power of Attorney is an important part of planning for your future. It provides a safeguard if you should become mentally or physically incapable of looking after your own affairs. We all hope that will never happen to us, but having a Power of Attorney allows you to choose the people who can step in to act and take decisions on your behalf if you ever need help in future.

Becoming incapacitated can happen to people of all ages. Some people believe that your next of kin will be able to take these decisions or you, but this is simply not the case. Without a valid Power of Attorney in place, no one else can make decisions or act on your behalf, regardless of your relationship to them.

What is a Power of Attorney (PoA)?

A Power of Attorney is a written document which allows you to appoint people of your choice to take actions or make decisions on your behalf. You choose the person or persons you want to help you – called the Attorney – and decide what powers the Attorney should have. They can have the authority to deal with your financial and property affairs and also your personal welfare.

It is never too early to make a Power of Attorney so it makes sense to act now.

The Role of the Attorney

We understand how important it is to have the right people looking after you and your finances and our team of experts at Stuart & Stuart can help you to achieve that.  You decide who you would like to appoint as your Attorneys but we can give you guidance if you have any concerns or queries as to who that should be.  Trusted friends and family members are an obvious choice but you should also check with them that they are willing to take on the responsibility.

We can also discuss with you the types of powers you wish to include and when and how those powers should be used.

If you have been appointed as an Attorney, we can help to guide you in you in your acting and decision making, supporting you in your role.

What would happen if I did not have a Power of Attorney?

If you became ill and were unable to manage your day to day finances, your bank and other organisations would not accept instruction from anyone who has not been legally authorised to act on your behalf. The same applies if you become incapable of making decisions about your personal welfare.

In this case, if you did not have a Power of Attorney in place, a ‘Guardian’ can be appointed by the Sheriff Court. The Court procedure can be lengthy, complicated and expensive.

How Our Team Can Help You

We will talk you through the process of putting a Power of Attorney in place and will help you to decide which powers you would like to include.  Our dedicated team of friendly advisors are on hand to meet with you, whether in our office or at a place convenient to you.

You can download our information leaflet and even share them with family and friends.

To speak to one of our Solicitors call 0131 222 9975

Or email us at poa@stuartandstuart.co.uk

If I became incapacitated surely my spouse can continue withdrawing money from my bank account to pay for my day to day living?

This is a common misconception.  A spouse has no automatic right to take decisions on your behalf and financial institutions will want to see some legal authority before they will allow anyone access to your accounts.  This is typically achieved through appointing them as Attorney in advance or in extreme cases they can apply to court for an intervention order which can be costly and time consuming.

My husband is showing signs of early dementia, can he appoint an Attorney?

In order for an individual to appoint an Attorney to act on their behalf they need to demonstrate that they fully understand what responsibilities they are discharging to the Attorney. Our specialist team at Stuart and Stuart will meet with you both and establish if it is possible for your husband to grant a Power of Attorney.  We will also work with your husband’s medical carers if necessary.  If a Power of Attorney is not possible, we’ll be able to guide you through the other options available to you.

Can a Power of Attorney be reversed?

The Granter can formally reverse or revoke a financial or welfare Power of Attorney or any of the powers granted, provided they still have the capacity to do so.

Can I receive Legal Aid for establishing a Power of Attorney?

Stuart & Stuart Solicitors in Edinburgh and the Lothians are one of the few firms who offer Legal Aid for the purposes of establishing a Power of Attorney. You should speak to one of our solicitors in Edinburgh, Bonnyrigg or Penicuik to find out if you qualify for Legal Aid.

Douglas Bowen, specialising in Power of Attorney in Edinburgh, Stuart and Stuart solicitors
Stuart & Stuart solicitors Edinburgh-contact

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