Life’s unpredictability is its only constant. Despite our best efforts at planning, things don’t always pan out the way we envision. Sometimes, even without any plan, things miraculously fall into place, and at other times, they seem to fall apart like a house of cards. Just as you insure your house, your car, your life, or your health, protecting your ability to make decisions is paramount. This is where a Power of Attorney becomes a key element in an uncertain world.
So, What Exactly is a Power of Attorney?
Think of a Power of Attorney as your decision-making bodyguard. It is a legal document that enables you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. You get to decide if this chosen person (your attorney) will handle your finances, your welfare, or both. And the good news? You are not restricted to appointing just one person.
Your Power of Attorney lays out the extent of power your attorney can wield, outlining their role and responsibilities. Interestingly, a Power of Attorney isn’t reserved for dire circumstances alone – you can have one at the ready even if you never face a health crisis or debilitating accident.
Once created, your Power of Attorney is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland, giving it legal standing.
But What If I Don’t Have a Power of Attorney?
Without a Power of Attorney, any serious illness or accident leaving you incapable of handling your affairs could lead to the appointment of a guardian. And trust us, this isn’t the ideal path to tread. It’s time-consuming, costly, and worst of all, it leaves you with no say in who gets appointed.
The process involves court applications, potentially conflicting proposals, and the final call rests with the sheriff. Moreover, a guardianship has a fixed term, meaning a renewal application is required as the expiry date nears.
Undoubtedly, establishing a Power of Attorney is quicker, more cost-effective, and gives you the power to choose who will manage your affairs if you’re unable to.
So, don’t leave things to chance. Navigating life’s unpredictable currents is smoother with a Power of Attorney acting as your decision-making insurance policy. The process is simple, straightforward, and a crucial step in your journey through life’s uncertainties. If you would like to discuss setting up a Power of Attorney, please contact us.