The Power of Attorney solicitors at Stuart & Stuart can provide simple, straightforward advice to help you make the right decisions for you. Our lawyers are approachable and friendly and will explain everything relating to Powers of Attorney clearly and in plain English.
A Power of Attorney is a written document which allows you to appoint certain people to take actions or make decisions on your behalf in relation to your finances, your welfare, or both. These people become your Attorneys and it is up to you to decide what powers the Attorneys should have in relation to your affairs and when they should be able to act.
We are highly skilled in all private client matters, with over 200 years as a respected and trusted firm of solicitors and decades of experience across our team of solicitors. We pride ourselves on our reputation for providing a service that is of the highest quality and as we offer fixed fees for drafting and registering Powers of Attorney, you can have peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out with no surprises on cost. It is never too early to make a Power of Attorney so it makes sense to act now. Please speak with a member of our team today to find out how we can help.
Is a Power Of Attorney the same as a Guardianship?
While a Power Of Attorney and a Guardianship fulfil the same function in helping people to manage their affairs and welfare, there are some key differences between the two. A Power Of Attorney will only be granted if the person making it can understand and explain their wishes, while a Guardianship will be required when the person cannot make decisions for themselves. Guardianship applications are made through the courts and are usually granted for a fixed period only.
A Power Of Attorney is prepared and drafted by a solicitor. and allows you to state in advance who you would like to make financial and welfare decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapable of making those decisions yourself. Unlike Guardianship Orders, a Power of Attorney will continue until they are revoked by the person granting it or by their death.
Are all Power Of Attorneys the same?
There are two different types of powers which can be granted in a Power of Attorney:
- A "Continuing Power" of Attorney covers decisions about your money and property,
- A “Welfare” Power of Attorney is used for decisions relating to your future health and your personal welfare.
You can appoint a different Attorney for each POA. While a Continuing Power of Attorney can be used to help you deal with financial matters before you are incapable of dealing with them yourself, a Welfare Power of Attorney can only be made once you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself.
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 grant your Attorneys 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.
Who is likely to need a Power of Attorney?
Everyone should consider making a Power Of Attorney regardless of his or her age or health. Becoming incapacitated can happen to people at any time. For some, their capacity to manage their affairs may become impaired gradually, for example as they grow older. For others, this may happen suddenly as a consequence of an accident or illness.
How is a Power of Attorney created?
Three steps must be completed for a Power of Attorney to be created:
1. Written document
The precise powers that the Granter wishes their Attorney to have must be set out in a written document. Whether the powers are continuing, welfare or both must be stated clearly, and the document should be signed by the Granter. You should seek the advice of a solicitor to make sure this is appropriately drafted.
2. Certificate of capacity
The document must be signed by a solicitor, an advocate or a GP confirming that they have spoken with the Granter immediately before they signed the papers and are confident that they understand the document. It must also be confirmed that the Granter has not been unduly influenced by third parties.
3. Registration form
The document must then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Contact our Power of Attorney Solicitors in Edinburgh, Bonnyrigg and Penicuik
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.