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Power of Attorney - Why do I need one?


Michelle McIntosh qualified as a solicitor in 2005. At that time any applications for Guardianship Orders that were made to Glasgow Sheriff Court were dealt with by one particular Sheriff and the hearing took place in his personal Chambers. Now, due to the number of applications for Guardianship Orders that are made to the Court in Glasgow, all guardianship hearings take place in court rooms and there are several Sheriff’s who are allocated to deal with these types of hearings. This situation of increased applications being made for Guardianship Orders applies to Courts throughout Scotland. The process of applying for a Guardianship Order is can be lengthy, as in order to apply for a Guardianship Order, certain reports are required. Again, due to the number of applications that are now being made, the amount of time that you will have to wait for certain reports to be prepared can be months. Previously these reports were prepared immediately on request. Guardianship Orders are applied for on behalf of adults when the adults do not have or do no longer have capacity to make welfare and/or financial decisions, due to conditions such as dementia and learning disability. Whilst we can fully assist with applying for a Guardianship Order the best solution is that family/friends are never required to apply for such an order on the adult’s behalf. In situations where an adult has capacity, and prior to losing that capacity, he or she can apply for a Welfare and/or Financial Power of Attorney. In doing so, the adult has the benefit of selecting who they wish to be their Attorney and selecting the specific powers that their Attorney will have. This is a comparatively quick and straight forward process. It provides the nominated Attorney with the same powers as a Guardianship Order.  Once a Power of Attorney is made you have the peace of mind of knowing that should you ever lose capacity, you have arranged for someone you trust to immediately make decisions on your behalf. In relation to welfare matters, your nominated Attorney will never be able to make these type of decisions on your behalf unless you lose capacity. In relation to financial matters, your Attorney can assist you with these matters if you wish them to, you do not require to have lost capacity. Please see the OPG (Scotland) website for more information. McIntosh McCann can assist you in applying for a Power of Attorney and we offer this service at a fixed fee if you do not qualify for legal aid. We can also carry out home visits if necessary.


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