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Why you need a Power of Attorney in Scotland
Did you know that without a Power of Attorney in Scotland your husband, wife, partner or children cannot pay your bills, go to the bank or speak to doctors or care staff on your behalf?
A Power of Attorney (or POA) is the only way you can give your family authority to act on your behalf. That’s why you need a Power of Attorney.
We have seen first hand how difficult it can be for families without a Power of Attorney. That is why we are passionate about making Power of Attorney available to everyone in Scotland.
Why a Power of Attorney is important...
David & Caroline
David and Caroline’s family life was devastated when David had a car accident. He was lucky to come out alive but suffered a serious head injury.
David had not made a Power of Attorney. As a result Caroline could not make decisions about David’s care. She only managed to pay the bills as they had a joint account. Unfortunately, the savings account was in David’s name so Caroline could not access that for school trips.
The doctors and the bank told Caroline she would have to apply to the court to become David’s guardian. This took 11 months and cost the family £6,000.
If David had made a Power of Attorney she could have made decisions about David’s care and accessed the savings account straight away.
Although a Power of Attorney would not have prevented the accident, it would have made life a little easier for Caroline.
Like many people in Scotland, Jim was diagnosed with dementia three years ago. No one told Jim to make a Power of Attorney when he was diagnosed.
A year ago Jim became quite ill and went into hospital. He didn’t understand what the doctors were telling him and his wife Margaret asked the doctors if she could make decisions for Jim. The doctors told Margaret she could not make decisions for Jim as she was not his attorney. Only the doctors could decide what treatment Jim was to receive because that is what the law says.
Margaret went to a lawyer to ask what she could do. The lawyer told her that because Jim was no longer capable of making decisions she would have to apply to court to become his guardian.
As she knew Jim would always need help Margaret went ahead with the application to the court to become Jim’s guardian. This was very intrusive as Jim and the family had to be interviewed by doctors and social workers. It also took a very long time. From meeting with the lawyer it took 13 months for Margaret to be appointed as his guardian.
If Jim had made a Power of Attorney as soon as he was diagnosed with dementia, Margaret could have made decisions for him straight away and both Jim and the family would have been saved the stress and intrusion of the court application.