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Financial and Welfare Guardianship in Scotland


What do you need to know about financial and welfare guardianship in Scotland?

Why would someone need guardianship?

In Scotland, no one has legal authority to act on another adult’s behalf (not even their spouse or children) unless they have been granted the authority to do so.

If a person does not have capacity, and has never granted a Power of Attorney, the situation is complex and an application to the court for Welfare and/or Financial Guardianship will usually be required.  The appointment of Financial and/or Welfare Guardians in Scotland is governed by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, which came into force on 2nd April 2001.

What is incapacity?

A person may lack capacity as a result of a lifelong condition, e.g. learning difficulties or disability, or as a result of illness, e.g. dementia or a stroke. Whatever the reason, if that person is not in a position to delegate powers to a trusted relative/friend themselves then a court intervention is required.

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship orders appoint someone to act on another’s behalf and can cover financial matters only, welfare matters only or both financial and welfare matters.

The powers applied for will vary depending on the adult’s personal circumstances, but financial powers can include:-

  • Power to operate bank accounts on the adult’s behalf
  • Power to purchase items (including property) for the adult’s benefit
  • Power to deal with any property owned by the adult, including power to sell the property if appropriate.

Welfare powers can include:-

  • Power to decide on appropriate care and accommodation for the adult;
  • Power to consent to medical treatment on the adult’s behalf; and
  • Power to make decisions regarding the adult’s dress, diet and personal appearance.

Our Experience

We have considerable experience of assisting family members, friends and carers of adults who lack the capacity to manage their own affairs in obtaining Financial and/or Welfare Guardianship orders. Our team regularly appear in court to process guardianship applications.  For more information or advice get in touch with our team.

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