Power of attorney

A power of attorney (PoA) is a written document including a certificate signed by one of the following:

  • a solicitor registered to practise law in Scotland
  • a practising member of the Faculty of Advocates
  • a registered UK medical doctor who holds a licence to practise

Why would I need one?

A PoA lets you plan what you want another person to do for you in the future, should you become incapable of making decisions about your own affairs.

Many people believe that a spouse, partner or family member will be able to make decisions about their care if they are incapable of doing so themselves. Yet this is not the case in Scotland. If you do not have a Power of Attorney in place, your family do not have any legal rights to make decisions for you. For your own peace of mind, having a Power of Attorney written in advance will make sure that you can choose who will be able to make decisions on your behalf if required in the future.

There are different types of PoA which will allow you to give power to another person (or persons). This power allows them to deal with money and property. It also gives them power to make decisions around health or personal welfare matters.

Who can make one?

Anyone over the age of 16 years can make a PoA, but will need to have capacity and be able to understand what you are doing by granting this.

Further information