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Power of Attorney and Guardianship

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person (the Grantor) appoints another person (the Attorney) to make decisions and act for them; these responsibilities can relate to property and financial affairs or welfare matters or both combined.

Any individual who has capacity can grant a Power of Attorney, the Grantor must also usually be over the age of 16. The Grantor must have full legal capacity to grant a Power of Attorney; this means that he/she must be capable of giving instructions to a solicitor and must understand the nature and extent of the powers that they are granting.

An Attorney can be anyone over the age of 16 who has capacity. A Grantor normally chooses a family member as their Attorney however it can be anyone they choose, it should always be someone the Grantor trusts implicitly due to the nature of the powers available to the Attorney within the Power of Attorney document. A Grantor may appoint more than one Attorney and can also appoint a Substitute Attorney to act in the event the original Attorney is no longer able to.

A Power of Attorney is a useful document to allow individuals to prepare for a time when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. They are quick and fairly easy to prepare and can be tailored to the needs of an individual. The Power of Attorney document has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and cannot be used until such times as it has been registered.

A Power of Attorney is an 'in life' document and one of the ways it comes to an end is on the death of the Grantor, the wishes of the Grantor will then be determined by their Will, please see our section on Wills.


As mentioned above a Grantor must have capacity to instruct a solicitor to draft a Power of Attorney on his/her behalf. If the Grantor has lost capacity, under the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, anybody with an interest can apply to the Sheriff Court to be appointed as an individual's Guardian to manage the finances and/or make decisions about the welfare of the incapable adult. The standard term for a guardianship appointment is 3 years. This procedure is far more complex and more time consuming than having a Power of Attorney document drawn up and the powers tend to be far more restrictive.

We provide comprehensive advice on both Powers of Attorney and Guardianships. We offer Legal Aid for both of these services if required. Please contact our Saltcoats office on 01294 464301 to make an appointment with a member of our Private Client Team to discuss your individual requirements:

Ian Hunter
Cecilia Timmons
Jenna Merry
Pauline Gray

Free 30 minute lawyer consultation in Ayrshire
Scottish Legal Aid. Free 30 minute lawyer consultation in Ayrshire

Open: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm, closed for lunch 1-2pm.
Saltcoats office also open to 6pm on a Thursday and 10am until 12.30pm on a Saturday.

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Saltcoats (Main Office)

Bank of Scotland Buildings
57 Dockhead Street
KA21 5EH

Tel: 01294 464301
Fax: 01294 603023


76 Princes Street
KA22 8DF

Tel: 01294 464131
Estate Agency Hub
01294 60 2000

West Kilbride

85 Main Street
West Kilbride
KA23 9AP

Tel: 01294 829599
Fax: 01294 829602


Unit 2 Douglas Centre
Isle of Arran
KA27 8AJ

Tel: 01770 302027
Open 5 days a week

Authorised under the Law Society of Scotland to conduct investment business under the Financial Services Act 1986.