Circumstances that bring a PoA to an end

Some changes in circumstances will result in the power of attorney (PoA) coming to an end. It is important that we are told about the following changes:


We must be notified in writing of the death of an attorney or a granter. A copy of the death certificate will be required, too.

 The PoA will end when:

  •  the granter dies, or
  • the sole attorney dies; and there is no substitute attorney appointed.

If a substitute attorney was appointed they should notify us of the death of the sole attorney and confirm in writing that they are willing to act as the attorney. If the substitute has been granted continuing powers current, they must confirm that they are not bankrupt and that a protected trust deed is not in place. We will then update the public register and issue a new certificate of registration and copy PoA to the attorney


Resignation if there is a sole attorney

A continuing or welfare attorney who wishes to resign should write to us, and where appropriate inform the following of their intention to resign:

  • the granter of the PoA
  • any guardian or, where there is no guardian, the granter's primary carer

The attorney's resignation will not take effect until 28 days from the date of processing. A new PoA can be created but only if the granter is still capable.

Resignation where there is a substitute attorney

When notifying us of the resignation, if possible, the attorney should include a signed letter from the substitute attorney confirming they are willing to act.

This allows the resignation to be effective from the date of receipt and means the substitute attorney will not have to wait for the 28 days processing time before taking up the role of attorney.

If that is not possible, we will contact the substitute attorney to confirm they wish to take up the appointment.

Please ensure that we have been provided with up to date contact details for the granter and any attorney.

Divorce, separation, dissolution

If the attorney and the granter are married to each other and separate, the PoA will, unless the document states otherwise, come to an end on the granting of a:

  • decree of separation; to either party
  • decree of divorce to either party
  • declarator of nullity of the marriage

If the attorney and the granter are in a civil partnership with each other and separate, the PoA will, unless the document states otherwise, come to an end on the granting of a:

  • decree of separation of the partners
  • decree of dissolution
  • declarator of nullity of the civil partnership

Other reasons

There are other circumstances that bring a PoA to an end. Some examples of these circumstances are listed below:

  • The authority of a continuing or welfare attorney in relation to any matter comes to an end on the appointment of a guardian with powers relating to that matter.
  • In the case of a continuing PoA, the attorney or granter become bankrupt or a protected trust deed has been put in place.
  • The granter recovers capacity to the point that they can take steps to revoke the PoA and does so.
  • The PoA is revoked by order of the Sheriff.
  • The granter wishes to cancel/revoke their PoA

More information can be found in the Code of Practice provided by the Scottish Government.