When someone is not capable of granting a Power of Attorney but their affairs need managed, a Guardianship might be appropriate.

There are some differences between a Guardianship and a Power of Attorney:

  • Court application vs written document
    A Guardianship requires an application to the local Sheriff Court and an informal hearing takes place at the court. A Power of Attorney by contrast only needs a written document to be signed and registered in the required format.
  • Accounting
    A Guardianship requires a management plan, inventory and annual accounts to be approved by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). An attorney using a Power of Attorney is advised to keep comprehensive records but there is not typically an accounting process required.
  • Timespan
    A Guardianship is usually only granted for a specified time, eg three years, and is renewed at the end of that period if necessary. A Power of Attorney is usually granted for an indefinite period.

As well as Guardianships, there are other options available to anyone interested in looking after someone who has lost capacity:

  • Access to Funds
    This is an option available to be able to make one-off financial decisions for the adult concerned. The application process does not require a court hearing but there are still some procedures to be approved by the OPG.
  • Intervention Order
    Another option to provide a one-off decision or set of decisions for someone. The application process is similar to a Guardianship but the powers given can be more comprehensive than an Access to Funds Order.

Get in Touch

Middleton Ross can help advise on what is the correct course of action and help you every step of the way. Please contact us for more information.

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