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Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document signed by an individual (known as the Granter) giving legal authority to another person(s) (known as the Attorney/s) to   deal with aspects of the Granter’s affairs. The Power of attorney can relate to financial/ property matters and/ or personal welfare. Thus the Power of attorney is an important legal deed registered in a Public Register to give piece of mind and legal authority for your loved ones to enable them to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated by old age or disability.

Powers relating to the Granter’s financial/ property affairs are known as “continuing powers” and may be given with the intention of taking effect immediately and continuing upon the Granter’s incapacity or beginning on the incapacity of the Granter. Welfare powers cannot be exercised until such time as the Granter has lost the capacity to make these decisions. Granters have scope to grant whatever powers they choose, however as these powers will be strictly interpreted the Granter should ensure that the powers granted are specific and cover all the relevant aspects of their affairs. A Power of attorney document should contain either continuing powers, welfare powers or a combination of both.

Critically the Power of attorney can only be granted before incapacity sets in so it is vital that you seek legal advice before it is too late. If you are too late in instructing your solicitor a Power of attorney will not be possible and the alternative would be the appointment of a Financial Guardian through the Courts where the process can be both long and expensive. David Dewar and Craig Murray can be contacted by email or phone to assist you.