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What is a Power of Attorney for Health Care?

What is a Power of Attorney for Health Care?

A Power of Attorney for Health Care, more commonly known as a Welfare Power of Attorney, or a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows person(s) you have chosen to make decisions regarding only your health and welfare. These are decisions such as where you will reside, how you would like to be dressed, what you will eat and the medical treatment and care you’d like to receive.

What is a Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney allows a chosen and trusted loved one to make the decisions you make every day from what you eat to larger decisions regarding medical treatment and financial issues when you no longer have the capacity to do so.

The law in Scotland allows everyone over the age of sixteen, who has the legal capacity, to make decisions regarding their health and welfare. With a Power of Attorney document you pass this ability to someone else and allow them to manage your care.

There are two terms you will come across when you begin your Power of Attorney process:

Granter: The person who gives the power is known as the Granter.

Attorney: The person who is given the powers is the attorney.

Why should I have a Power of Attorney?

Your next-of-kin, family or other people close to you do not have the legal right to make decisions for you if you lose the ability to do so yourself. If you have a medical emergency and are unable to communicate your wishes, without a Power of Attorney the hospital staff will be unable to involve you in any decisions.

You may never have to use this document, however by having it in place you get peace of mind, knowing if you are one day unable to make decisions for yourself, you will have the care and support of someone you chose and trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Power of Attorney like a Will?

A Power of Attorney document is not a Will. A Power of Attorney is a legal living document, and does not relate to what happens after your passing, but rather is only relevant when you are alive. After your passing, the executors you have named in your Will are responsible for sorting our your estate, however they do not have any responsibilities whilst you are alive.

Can my attorney also be an executor in my Will?

Yes, and usually we choose those we trust to undertake these roles as they require a level of care. The person you choose to be your attorney can also be one of the executors in your Will.

If you would like to start the process of getting your Power of Attorney in place, you can contact us on 0330 390 9200, or email us at


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