Personal Legal

Setting up a guardianship in Scotland

A Comprehensive Guide

Guardianship - Care of an elderly lady

Ordinarily, an adult can grant power of attorney to allow someone they trust to deal with their affairs when they're unable to do so themselves. However, a power of attorney can only be granted by an adult who has the full mental capacity to do so.

If someone needs help with their affairs but cannot grant power of attorney, an application can be made to the courts to appoint a guardian. A guardian is someone who can look after the adult's financial, business, personal and medical affairs.

Navigating Guardianship Legalities

Guardianship in Scotland is a complex legal area, vital for ensuring the welfare and management of an individual's affairs. Here's a clear breakdown of the process:

  1. Initiating Guardianship

    The journey begins with an application to the courts for appointing a guardian.

  2. Gathering Essential Reports

    This step involves obtaining comprehensive reports from medical practitioners and social workers. Additional reports might be needed, particularly when financial assets are involved.

  3. Court's Decision on Guardianship Duration

    Typically, the court sets the guardianship length, which usually ranges from 3 to 5 years.

  4. Registration with the Office of the Public Guardian

    Once granted, the guardianship must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, under the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service.

  5. Financial Responsibilities

    The adult's estate is responsible for various costs, including fees to the Public Guardian, an insurance policy commonly known as 'caution', and an annual management fee.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Guardian

Becoming someone's guardian in Scotland entails specific responsibilities:

  1. Supervision by the Public Guardian

    As a guardian, you'll be under the supervision of the Public Guardian, an official of the Scottish Court and Tribunal Service. This requires submitting detailed annual reports on financial actions.

  2. Local Authority Oversight

    The Local Authority supervises personal decisions made on behalf of the adult.

  3. Financial Considerations

    The costs associated with appointing a guardian are typically borne by the adult in question. However, in some instances, Civil Legal Aid may be accessible, with eligibility guidelines provided by the Legal Aid Board.

Professional Support in Guardianship Matters

If you're considering becoming someone's guardian, we're here to assist. Our solicitors specialise in arranging guardianships and are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board. We can guide you through the process of applying for Civil Legal Aid if eligible.

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