Adults with Incapacity

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, provides ways to help safeguard the welfare and finances of people who lack capacity. It protects people over 16 who lack capacity to take some or all decisions for themselves because of a mental disorder or an inability to communicate.

It allows a person (e.g. a relative, friend or partner) to make decisions on your behalf.

It lets you make arrangements for someone else to make decisions and manage affairs on your behalf, if you lose capacity in the future.

Incapable as defined in the act means incapable of:

  • Acting on decisions

  • Making decisions

  • Communicating decisions

  • Understanding decisions

  • Retaining the memory of decisions

due to mental disorder or inability to communicate because of physical disability.

Having a diagnosis, of an illness does not mean that a person is unable to make decisions for themselves. It is also important to remember that just because someone makes an unwise decision whether or not mental disorder is present does not mean that capacity is lacking.

Power of Attorney (POA)

Having a Power of Attorney lets you plan what you want another person to do for you should you become incapable of making decisions about your own affairs. POA is a written document which includes a certificate signed either by a solicitor who can practice law in Scotland or by a registered UK medical doctor who holds a licence to practice.

There are three types:

  • Continuing Power of Attorney

    Gives powers to deal with money and / or property

  • Welfare Power of Attorney

    Gives powers to make decisions around health or personal welfare matters

  • Combined Power of Attorney

    Gives continuing and welfare powers