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Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a trusted family member, friend or professional advisor to manage your personal affairs if you are unable to do so.  Such circumstances could arise temporarily, for example if you were in hospital or abroad or, if you are diagnosed with dementia or become increasingly ill or frail.

Your Attorney will be able to act and make decisions on your behalf relating to both your financial and welfare needs. A Welfare Attorney will be able to attend to matters affecting your welfare in the event that you cannot do so yourself, for example by making decisions on your care needs and medical treatments. A Financial Attorney will be able to look after your finances, which can include attending to your pensions and benefits, your property as well as managing your bank accounts and investments.

Why should I make a Power of Attorney?

Many people assume that their spouse or children will automatically be able to manage their affairs if they are no longer capable of doing so, however, this is not the case. An individual requires to have authority to act and therefore it is important that you consider putting a Power of Attorney in place.

A Power of Attorney requires to be granted while you have legal capacity to do so. If you lose capacity without having a Power of Attorney in place, this can result in undue worry for your family, who would be unable to manage your finances or contribute to decisions regarding your care needs. Your family may then require to apply to the court for a Guardianship or Intervention Order which is a complex and expensive procedure.

Having a Power of Attorney will therefore help provide you with peace of mind knowing that a trusted person can manage your affairs in the event that you are unable to do so yourself.

As Edinburgh solicitors we have many years of experience in advising clients on Welfare and Financial Powers of Attorney and would be happy to assist you and your family.

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