Your voice, your choice

If you can’t make decisions for yourself who do you want to make them?

Some people are unable to make decisions for themselves due to health or disability. If this happens it’s important that you get the person you want making decisions for you.

Most of us assume that as mums / dads, sons / daughters we will automatically have the right to make decisions on behalf of our loved ones. This is not the case! 

For someone to have the legal power to make decisions on your behalf they must be appointed as your Power of Attorney or Guardian

Talk to your partner, your mum or dad, your kids and “Start the conversation” before something happens.

What can happen if you don't have Power of Attorney? (Subtitled) on Vimeo

My Power of Attorney Website 

Power of Attorney (PoA)

What is Power of Attorney?

PoA is used where someone suddenly loses capacity, as a result of an accident, dementia, stroke or other illness.

If you lose capacity, it means that you are no longer able to look after your own financial and personal affairs.  Losing capacity can mean many things. These include being:

  • incapable of acting on decisions; or
  • incapable of making decisions; or
  • incapable of communicating decisions; or
  • incapable of understanding decisions; or
  • incapable of retaining the memory of decisions in relation to any particular matter due to mental disorder; or
  • incapable of communicating due to physical disability.


How do I appoint a Power of Attorney?

Most people will get a solicitor to help them draw up the paperwork needed, more information and local contacts can be found at
My Power Of Attorney - Scotland

How much does it cost?

Costs vary depending on the solicitor you use but costs are between £200-£500.  Legal aid can be complex but if you qualify you could pay nothing for your PoA.

Who can appoint a Power of Attorney?

PoA is not just for older people, anyone over 16 can grant PoA and it is recommended that people over 30 do so. If being used as a ‘rainy day’ document and you don’t need the powers immediately the PoA can just be stored in a safe place (for example at your solicitors office). If you wish for your attorney to act immediately the document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian

Why is it important to appoint a Power of Attorney?

If PoA have not appointed in advance, and you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, then the courts have to appoint someone to be your Guardian. While there are processes for family members to apply for Guardianship after someone has lost capacity, it is a long and expensive process, requiring a court hearing.  The cost of applying to have a guardian appointed is in the thousands and can take up to 12 months or even longer.



Guardianships are required for someone to make decisions on behalf of an adult with incapacity. It is more suitable where decisions need to be taken on an ongoing basis.

For more information please visit
Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)