Why is it important for you to have a POA?
If you lose capacity and don’t have a Power of Attorney (POA) then no one can act on your behalf. Your family would have to go to court at considerable time and expense.
The only way for you to plan for your future is with a POA. It will allow your family and loved ones to deal with your personal and financial affairs ie: going to the bank or signing a legal document.
Without it, patients can remain in hospital longer than they should.
It gives great flexibility to have someone with the power to carry out your affairs. For example an older parent may appoint one of their children. This would allow them to carry out banking or sign legal documents.
As well as the above we recommend that you appoint a Welfare Attorney as well and we call this type of document that you grant a “Continuing & Welfare Power of Attorney”. This means that should you lose capacity either through ill health or for example a condition such as dementia, your attorney will be able to deal with your affairs and the Law of Scotland recognises this under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.
If at some stage you are in independent living eg a care home or a hospital then your Welfare Attorney would have to be consulted regarding your care and how you were being treated.
Once the Power of Attorney is granted it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland under the terms of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. When the Power of Attorney is registered a certificate of registration is issued to ourselves and we issue you a copy keeping the original in our deeds safe free of charge. If required you can borrow it out from ourselves but most banks and building societies will accept the copy document.
If you don’t have a Continuing & Welfare Power of Attorney your family would have to go to the great cost and distress of obtaining a Guardianship Order or Intervention Order from the Court. Taking the above steps can give you and your family peace of mind that you have everything you would need legally to allow your affairs to be taken care of if you lost capacity.