“If you do lose mental capacity and you don’t have a Power of Attorney, someone will have to apply to the Office of The Public Guardian for a Guardianship Order which must be granted by a Sherriff in Court The person who applies may not be the person you would have chosen yourself. The application process is lengthy and expensive. Once an order is granted, that person can make decisions for you, which might include:
- Paying bills and expenses on your behalf.
- Deciding how your day is organised.
- Deciding how you receive care.
- Deciding if your home will be sold.
The Deputy must always act in your best interests, but abuse does happen – including theft, fraud, misuse of property, possessions or benefits, undue pressure and neglect (OPG, 2015). This is one reason why making a Power of Attorney and nominating someone you trust to manage your affairs is a sensible choice.
Applying for a Guardianship Order is a long, complex and often intrusive process. It is also expensive. Making a Power of Attorney is a much simpler, cheaper and quicker way to elect somebody you trust to manage your affairs should you be unable to do so yourself. It puts you in complete control of who will make decisions for you, and the extent of their powers.