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Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

If there comes a time in your life when you are incapable of making important decisions that impact your finances or health, you may need to think about appointing a Power of Attorney. This is a document where one person (the ‘donor’) gives another person (the ‘attorney’), permission to act on his or her behalf to their best interests.

Without appointing a Power of Attorney, if someone becomes incapable of making decisions their family members may face lengthy and costly court proceedings to gain the right to make these important decisions on their behalf.

An attorney should always carry out your affairs with your input. It’s their responsibility to ensure that they are communicating in a way that will help you understand things if you struggle to make key decisions on your own. It should be your wishes that are carried out and always in your best interest.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are two types of powers you can grant to your ‘attorney’:

Ordinary powers – general or specific powers allowing your attorney to deal with things on your behalf while you still have mental capacity, limited to your property and/or financial affairs.

Lasting Power of Attorney – gives the attorney permission to act on behalf of the donor in the event that they lose mental capacity in health and welfare issues (medical care, accommodation, giving or refusing life-sustaining treatments etc.) and property and financial affairs (manage bank accounts, benefits and pensions or buy/sell property etc.).

Do you need Power of Attorney advice?

Whether you are looking to appoint a Power of Attorney or you have been appointed as one, our Edinburgh family law team can support you.

If you need a family lawyer, contact our Edinburgh family team on 0131 550 0414.


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