Powers of attorney & Guardianships

It is something many fail to consider, but it is just as important as making a will. As the same time as making your will, you may also wish to consider drawing up enduring Powers of Attorney or a Guardianship Order.

Powers of Attorney & Guardianships Lawyers Helensburgh and Dumbarton

When an adult suffers from incapacity because of accident, illness or old-age, this can raise issues in almost every area of law. A Guardianship Order is a court order that nominates another person to act on behalf of an adult with incapacity. A Power of Attorney allows you to nominate one or more people, such as a trusted relative, to act for you if you lose the ability to look after yourself. It means that your financial affairs and all aspects of your care and welfare would not be left in limbo were you to fall ill or become incapacitated.

Hopefully, your power of attorney will never be needed, but you can enjoy the comfort of knowing that, in times of need, the Power of Attorney could be used to ensure that your family would not be in financial difficulty. Without a Power of Attorney, your financial affairs and the arrangements for your care and welfare would be frozen until the Court granted an Intervention or Guardianship Order. It can take many months from first deciding that somebody needs help, to the Court assessing the case and the Office of the Public Guardian ("the OPG") permitting the Guardian to commence acting on the adult's behalf.

A Power of Attorney is a far-reaching document and allows your Attorney to stand in your shoes and make decisions on your behalf. You must choose your Attorney someone you can trust and talk to about what your wishes are, be that a relative, friend or professional.

Once you have granted a Power of Attorney under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, the OPG would be involved in the regulation of your actings as an Attorney, and the OPG also has the function of keeping a register relating to all Continuing and Welfare Powers of Attorney.

At McArthur Stanton, our team of specialist, experienced advisers can help you tailor the specific powers you would like contained within your Power of Attorney, ensuring that once completed, you will have a legally-binding document which will safeguard your interests in the future.

What if the person I wish to help is now incapacitated?

If the window of opportunity for obtaining a Power of Attorney is lost, in other words, where the adult no longer has the mental or physical capacity to grant it, then it may be necessary to petition the Sheriff Court for the appointment of a Financial or Welfare Guardian, or alternatively for what is called an Intervention Order.

This can be a complex, prolonged and expensive process, involving not only the Court but also your family, the Social Work Department, Mental Health Authorities as well as your doctors.

However, rest assured that our solicitors have much experience in these matters, and will be able to efficiently progress your application for Guardianship or Intervention, and to give you and your family guidance throughout the process.

What about protecting my home and care home planning?

One of the most common questions we’re asked by clients is how can we protect our house if we ever need to go into a care home?

This is usually followed by comments like someone told us you can transfer your house to your kids or put it in a trust, and as long as you don’t go into a home before seven years pass by, the council won’t be able to force you to sell the house, and then that we’ve worked all our days and don’t want the house basically taken from our kids.

Does this sound familiar? Is it something you’ve been thinking or worrying about?

We’ve written a simple guide to help you make an informed decision about your house and your care home planning. There’s a lot of misinformation being shared around this complex subject, and we would recommend that you pour over this and come back to us with any questions before making any final decisions.

Download our guide here

Contact Our Specialist Power of Attorney and Guardianship Lawyers, Helensburgh and Dumbarton

You don’t have to go into the city for a specialist lawyer We are as efficient, experienced and fully IT modernized - as well as being based in your local area. All of our lawyers are committed to client satisfaction and have unparalleled knowledge of the local court and procedures, without attracting the very high fees of city-based lawyers.

We also offer packages tailored to your needs, allowing you to effectively plan for your future, and the future of your loved ones with our Power of Attorney, Wills, or Guardianship packages, guided by or friendly and empathetic team. So please feel free to make an appointment at your convenience. Contact us on 01389 762266 or 01436 672212, and one of our specialist team will be happy to meet with you to discuss your wishes in confidence.

We offer a discount for powers of attorney instructed online. View our powers of attorney form page for more information.

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