When can we act?

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 gives the Public Guardian certain powers to investigate concerns and take steps to safeguard financial matters where it appears they are at risk. When we talk about risk, we mean current and future risk as we do not have a remit to investigate historical matters. The Public Guardian is there to protect the interests of the adult and does not represent any other person or public body. An adult is someone who is aged 16 or over.

Our investigation team aims to ensure that an incapable adult’s property or financial affairs are suitably safeguarded and not at risk from abuse or misuse. Initially information is gathered from a number of sources to decide whether or not there is a reason to investigate.

What's involved in an investigation?

An investigation involves gathering information from relevant parties by interviewing people and reviewing documentation such as bank statements, financial records, receipts etc. Sometimes we carry out interviews with relevant parties if more information is needed.

If you have concerns that an adult’s funds/property are at a risk, you can refer the matter to us. You will need to provide evidence to support your concerns.

Concerns might include:

  • The way in which an attorney, who has authority to manage an adult’s finances or property, is using that authority.
  • An adult’s property or financial affairs appears to be at risk, perhaps because of the involvement of a third party who has no authority to manage the adult’s finances.

When we receive a referral, we will review the information provided to establish whether we have a remit to start an investigation.