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Power of Attorney

Choosing a Trusted Friend or Loved One to Make Important Decisions

A Power of Attorney allows you to choose a loved one or trusted friend to make decisions for you about your money, your health and to act on your behalf if you lose the ability to do so in future.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is something that you hope you never need to use, but if there comes a time that you need someone to act on your behalf and you don't have one in place your family may have to go to court to gain authority to act on your behalf; This process can be time consuming and costly, and the person the court nominated might not be the person who you would have chosen to look after your welfare.

By setting up a Power of Attorney you stay in control of your affairs now while making it easier for your loved ones to help you in the future should it be required. Your nominated attorney can be a close relative or a trusted friend. You and your attorney will both receive notification once the Power of Attorney has been set up.

Why is a Power of Attorney Important

If you neglect to put a Power of Attorney in place, you could put your loved ones into the position where they are unable to make decisions on your behalf when you have lost capacity. Even if you have informally made arrangements with your loved ones on what they should do if the event should arise - doctors, lawyers, and other professionals will not be able to just take their word for it without the proper legal documentation in place.

Should a loved one wish to apply to make decisions on your behalf, then they must go through the costly and stressful process of becoming a court appointed Guardian in Scotland, or a Court of Protection appointed Deputy in England and Wales. Aside from being a costly and lengthy process, applying to be Guardian or a Deputy for a loved one, you could be appointed a very limited set of powers. Alternatively, failure to put a Power of Attorney in place could result in the person who has been granted either Guardian or Deputy powers being someone you may not have wished to be responsible for making decisions on your behalf.

What do I need a Power of Attorney?

In Scotland, the first and most important element to a Power of Attorney are the Schedule 1 documents. This documentation is used to ensure that you have the capacity to understand the weight of the powers you are granting to another person – for more information on capacity read our blog here. It is important to know that the Schedule 1 document must be completed by either a practising medical practitioner or solicitor.

When it comes to the main Power of Attorney documents for both Scotland and England, it is important to have the following information to hand; your full name, address, and date of birth as well as the full name, address, date of birth and their relationship to you for any Attorneys you wish to appoint, whether they be primary or reserve Attorneys.

How is a Power of Attorney Registered

Whether you have a Scottish Power of Attorney or an English Lasting Power of Attorney, they are both required to be submitted for registration with the Office of Public Guardian for them to become valid and enforceable.

The Office of Public Guardian for Scotland and England & Wales both are currently working on a turn-around time of around 20 weeks, except for those who require it to be expedited due to a significant decline in health.

What happens next?

1. Make an Appointment

When required, one phone call to us is all that is needed to make an appointment with one of our friendly & professional Estate Planning Consultants. Your Estate Planning Consultant will meet with you to discuss your wishes, and pass on your instructions to your Case Manager.

 

2. Creation of Legal Documents

Based on your wishes, your Case Manager will prepare and send your Power of Attorney documents. You should read them carefully, have them signed as directed, and return them for us to review.

3. Registration

Your Power of Attorney must then be registered with the Office of Public Guardian; Thomas Bradley & Co can complete your registration application on your behalf once your Power of Attorney has been completed.

Once your Power of Attorney has been successfully registered you will be sent confirmation by post; You can also request that your attorneys are notified at this stage so that they receive a copy of the Power of Attorney document.

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