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A comprehensive guide to Power of Attorney in Scotland

In Scotland, the law surrounding Power of Attorney (PoA) is governed by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. This legislation provides a framework for protecting the welfare and managing the finances of adults who lack capacity due to mental disorders or inability to communicate. Understanding the key points of Scottish Power of Attorney (PoA) law is crucial for both individuals granting a PoA and those acting as attorneys.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to Power of Attorney in Scotland, covering important aspects such as contesting a PoA, capacity requirements, the attorney's responsibilities, supervision by the Office of the Public Guardian, and the revocation process.

To find out more about being a Power of Attorney, or if you wish to contest a Power of Attorney, contact our team here.

Contesting Power of Attorney

If there are concerns that a PoA was granted when the granter lacked capacity or that the attorney is not acting in the granter's best interests, it is possible to challenge the PoA. This can be done by applying to the Sheriff Court to revoke the PoA or replace the attorney. It is important to seek legal advice and gather the necessary evidence to support the challenge.

Mental Capacity

To grant a PoA, the granter must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and extent of the PoA at the time of granting. If there are doubts about the granter's capacity, it is advisable to seek a medical opinion to assess their ability to make decisions.

Best Interests

The attorney has a legal obligation to always act in the granter's best interests. This includes considering the granter's past and present wishes when making decisions on their behalf. The attorney should also consult with the granter whenever possible and involve them in decision-making to the extent they are capable.

Supervision by the Office of the Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) supervises attorneys and has the authority to investigate complaints about their conduct. This provides a safeguard to ensure attorneys fulfill their duties and act in the best interests of the granter. The public can file complaints with the Office of the Public Guardian if they suspect misconduct or neglect by an attorney.


A PoA can be revoked by the granter at any time, if they have the capacity to do so. The granter can also apply to the court to have the PoA revoked if it is determined to be in their best interests. It is essential to follow the proper legal procedures when revoking a PoA to ensure its validity.


Understanding the legal aspects of Power of Attorney in Scotland is vital for both granters and attorneys. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 provides the necessary framework to safeguard the welfare and manage the finances of adults who lack capacity. By being aware of the key points discussed in this article, individuals can make informed decisions when granting a PoA and ensure that the attorney acts in their best interests. Seeking legal advice and understanding the rights and responsibilities involved in a PoA can help protect individuals from potential misuse of power.

Solicitors Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee & Southside Glasgow

At Claphams, client care is at the heart of what we do. Our dedicated solicitors recognise the stress that legal matters can bring, and our mission is to alleviate that burden while keeping costs reasonable. Backed by a warm and friendly team, our commitment is to provide you with the support and guidance you need.

Contact us today, online or via 0141 620 0800.


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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.