Power of attorney in Scotland

There are two types of power of attorney in Scotland:

  • Power of attorney relating to your financial/property affairs is known as a 'Continuing Power of Attorney' (CPA) and may be given with the intention of taking effect immediately and continuing on you becoming incapable. Or you can decide you only want it to begin if you become incapable.

  • Welfare Power of Attorney (WPA) allows someone you have appointed to make welfare decisions for you, and these powers can't be exercised until such time as you have lost the capacity to make these decisions.

  • Combined Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney which is a combination of a CPA and WPA.

The power of attorney document must be certified by a solicitor or a medical practitioner in Scotland. They must interview the person granting the power of attorney before they sign the document. This is to make sure they're aware of what they're doing and are not under undue influence.

Powers of attorney – those which are to continue or begin in the event of incapacity – can't take effect until they've been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

The Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland is responsible for the registration and maintenance of Power of Attorney documents within Scotland. The Office will ensure that documents are properly registered, offer information and advice to Attorneys dealing with financial affairs and can investigate any complaints raised about the actions taken by an Attorney. 

Anyone over 16 can make a PoA, but you need to have capacity and be able to understand what you are doing by granting this.

Ask a lawyer if you need a power of attorney in Scotland.