There are marked differences in the laws and procedures around power of attorney in Scotland as compared to England and Wales.
Powers of attorney in England and Wales were criticised in the news recently as being open to abuse.
Scotland's law and procedures are different. Of course, instances of abuse do happen here, but granters are better placed to obtain and benefit from safeguards. The flexibility of the Scottish procedure, when used in conjunction with professional advice, allows individuals to structure the document to meet their needs and circumstances. The minimum standard for the important safeguard of certification requirements is higher in Scotland than in England and Wales.
Against that background and given the difference in the way powers of attorney operate in the respective jurisdictions, we believe powers of attorney in Scotland are invaluable as a means of helping people manage their affairs and we will continue to support our members and the public to use them where appropriate.
We have produced comprehensive guidance for solicitors on assessing capacity and taking instruction from this client group which you can view here and our guidance on continuing and welfare powers of attorney is available here.
The Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) has produced some information in light of the discussion in the news. This can be found on their website.
We have produced a video for members of the public highlighting the benefits of and the process of obtaining powers of attorney.