Protecting your loved ones
If a family member or friend loses the ability to take care of their own welfare and finances, the law can help by allowing a Guardian to be appointed. None of us knows what life holds and that is why we recommend that all adults who have the capacity to do so should grant a Power of Attorney which will usually mean that Guardianship is unnecessary.
Guardianship may however be appropriate for:
• A child who has reached 16 and suffers from a disability which means they cannot manage their own affairs,
• An adult who has lost capacity because of serious injury or illness,
• An adult who has lost capacity due to gradually declining health.
There is a range of options available and we will guide you through them and help you achieve the best available outcome for your loved one. Every case is different. If your relative or friend simply needs someone to manage their benefits and savings, that can be done by a simpler procedure known as Benefits Appointee/Access to Funds. An Intervention Order can deal with a one off issue such as the sale of a property. Welfare Guardianship is needed to make decisions about where the person live or what medical treatment they have. Financial Guardianship is required where ongoing management of income and property is necessary.
We regularly provide advice on all aspects of Guardianship including
Guide to Guardianship
Access to Funds
Further information regarding Access to Funds can be found on the website http://www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk/access-to-funds At that link you can find the application forms and guidance together with the code of practice.
We are happy to assist you in making the application and you may be able to be reimbursed for some of your legal costs for making the application.
A combination of the options above might be the best way to manage the Adult’s affairs. For example you could ask the court for an intervention order to sell a property and place the proceeds in the Adult’s account and then apply for Access to Funds to use the money to meet their care costs. We can advise you so that you can decide on what is best for the Adult.
This gives the power to make a whole range of decisions about what is best for the Adult in personal matters such as where they should live and what medical treatment they should have.
This gives the power to deal with the Adult’s property and finances such as selling a house, managing investments, dealing with income, paying bills etc.
Combined Welfare/Financial Guardianship
This is appropriate where the Adult needs help to manage both personal and financial matters and can be made in the one application to the court.
How to apply for Guardianship
This is done in the Sheriff Court. The best person to act as a guardian is usually a family member or very close friend as they know the Adult better than anyone else and are best placed to know what the Adult would have done themselves.
We will explain the procedure to you and keep you informed every step of the way.
Legal Aid for Welfare Guardianship
For Intervention Orders and Guardianships where legal aid is not available we can provide you with an estimate of the likely costs.