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Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

It is good to plan for the legal and family issues which may occur in later life but many people put off planning when they could be taking steps to have as much control as possible over their lives.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions on your behalf. Our guide explains how explains more about what a Power of Attorney is, how to grant one, and what it means to be an attorney for someone else.

Want a copy of this guide?

All of our guides are available to download as PDFs. If you would like to request a paper copy of a guide to be sent to you, please call our Helpline on 0800 12 44 222

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Continuing Power of Attorney?

A Continuing Power of Attorney enables you to appoint someone to look after your property and financial affairs either to help you straight away, or only if you lose the capacity to do this yourself.

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What is a Welfare Power of Attorney?

A Welfare Power of Attorney enables you to appoint someone to make decisions about your health and welfare but only if you are unable to do this yourself. 

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What is a Combined Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney?

A Combined Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney enables someone, or more than one person, to look after both your financial affairs and health and welfare decisions.

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What if I don't have a Power of Attorney set up?

If you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself and have not appointed an attorney, someone would have to go to court to apply for a Guardianship Order to get authority to act on your behalf.

The process of applying to the court may take a long time, is expensive and can be a stressful and emotional experience. The person appointed by the court may not be the person you would have chosen, and they may not know what your wishes would have been.

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Where to get further information

You can call Age Scotland's helpline on 0800 12 44 222. The below organisations also have useful information and advice on their websites.

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