Information for doctors and solicitors

Under the terms of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 the following people may carry out an interview with a granter to confirm that they understand the nature and impact of making a PoA:

  • a solicitor registered to practise law in Scotland or
  • a practising member of the Faculty of Advocates or
  • a registered UK medical doctor who holds a licence to practise

Why make a PoA?

Once a person reaches the age of 16, nobody (regardless of their relationship) has an automatic legal right to make decisions on their behalf.

A person who has been diagnosed or who has a family history of a debilitating illness may wish to consider making a PoA which will continue or begin in the event of their incapacity. This would ensure that legal authority is in place should the time come when they can no longer make decisions about their own affairs.

In making a PoA a person is being proactive and making provision for their financial and / or long term health-care planning.

Your involvement

You may be asked to sign a prescribed certificate of capacity(also known as schedule 1) to confirm a person has capacity to grant a PoA. In addition:

  • You could be contacted by a family member who is concerned that their relative is requiring assistance in making decisions.
  • You may even be consulted by another doctor or solicitor because you know the person wishing to make the PoA and are better placed to assess their capacity.
  • Some granters may have stipulated in the PoA that they wish their financial powers to be used only in the event of their incapacity. The granter may also have stated that their incapacity is to be determined by a doctor and that written evidence is provided to confirm this.

When can an attorney start acting?

A continuing attorney i.e. an attorney with powers to deal with finances and/or property can begin acting as soon as the PoA is registered with us. However some granters may wish for the attorney to begin acting only when they become incapable. If this is the case, this will be indicated in the PoA.

A welfare attorney can only act during periods of the granter’s incapacity.

Can the PoA be changed once it is registered?

Yes, it can be revoked or amended once it has been registered.

However the granter must be interviewed by a prescribed person to confirm that they have capacity to take this action.

The prescribed person can be either a solicitor registered to practise law in Scotland or a practising member of the Faculty of Advocates or a registered UK medical doctor who holds a licence to practise.

You may be asked to interview the granter and complete the prescribed revocation certificate (also known as schedule 2) or perhaps another prescribed person may consult you because you are better placed to assess the granter’s capacity to revoke/cancel or amend the registered PoA.