good life, good death, good grief

Granting a power of attorney

You can give someone you trust the authority to deal with certain aspects of your affairs in case you become unable to manage your affairs yourself.

You can choose exactly what powers you want to grant, whether relating to your financial/property matters, or your personal welfare.

  • These are formal legal documents
  • In them you appoint someone to act for you if you lose capacity
  • You can only complete one if you have legal capacity
  • The person you appoint is your "Attorney"
  • You can appoint more than one Attorney
  • The Attorney's legal powers are set out in the document
  • Powers are categorised as "legal and financial" or "welfare"
  • There can be different Attorneys for different categories of powers
  • People usually appoint their partners and adult children as Attorneys
  • All Powers of Attorney must be registered with the Public Guardian
  • Attorneys can only act for the benefit of the person appointing them
  • Attorneys are subject to a legal control framework
  • Their powers can be removed if used improperly
  • All adults should complete Powers of Attorney
  • Court actions can be avoided in Powers of Attorney are in place
  • You can cancel or revoke your Power of Attorney
  • Many pensioners can get legal aid for Powers of Attorney
  • You cannot appoint a bankrupt as your Power of Attorney


“Preparing a power of attorney is probably the best and most helpful single legal task someone can do to benefit themselves and their family should illness strike. And it is easy and cheap to do.”

David Borrowman, Managing Party, Caesar & Howie, The Central Scotland Law Group.

Many people qualify for help with the costs involved in making a will, completing an advance directive or granting a power of attorney. Find out more through the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s eligibility estimators. The Financial Assessment Unit can assist with enquiries on eligibility on 0131 560 2164.

More information

More information about Power of Attorney is available from My Power of Attorney here, Age Scotland here, from Citizen's Advice Scotland here, and on the website of the Office of the Public Guardian.

Our Reluctant Planners Guide To Death and Dying blog gives a first hand account of putting a Power of Attorney in place.

Text size:AAA
Before I die I want to ...
Bereavement Charter for Scotland