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Setting up a power of attorney

You can draw up this document yourself, but most people use a solicitor so nothing is missed.

If you write the document yourself, it's important you refer to guidance to make sure your document gives your attorneys the necessary powers they may need to make decisions on your behalf.

Read the code of practice for continuing and welfare attorneys. Chapter 2 – Creating a Power of Attorney – takes you through a list of the types of 'powers' you might want to include in the document and other key points to think about.

There is advice available, for example from the Office of the Public Guardian.

A solicitor or medical doctor must interview you and sign your document to show you understand the decision you are making.

Once drawn up, your power of attorney document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This should be sent along with a registration form which the attorney must sign to confirm they're willing to act. There's a fee to register a power of attorney with them, which everybody has to pay.

Paying for a power of attorney

There is financial help available for the legal costs involved with a solicitor. This is called legal 'advice and assistance'. The Scottish Legal Aid Board has information on eligibility and can help you find a 'legal aid' solicitor if you qualify.

The Office of the Public Guardian charges a registration fee, but you may be exempt. Visit the Office of the Public Guardian website to find out if your fee can be exempt.

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