If a relative or friend can no longer make decisions about their finances or welfare, perhaps because they developed dementia or another serious illness, suffered a permanent catastrophic injury or have an impairment or mental disability, it may be necessary to arrange for them to have a guardian. A guardian is someone who is appointed by the court to make decisions on the behalf of someone who is incapable of safeguarding and promoting their own interests. This usually involves the guardian dealing with a wide range of matters such as managing the incapable adult’s finances, making decisions about their care and accommodation, and consenting to medical treatment on their behalf.
Application for guardianship order Scotland
If an adult in your life is incapable of making decisions about their property, financial or personal welfare, or incapable of acting to safeguard or promote their interests, and is likely to continue to be incapable, it may be possible to apply to the sheriff court for a guardianship order. If granted, a guardianship order appoints an individual or office holder as a guardian in relation to the property, financial affairs or personal welfare of the incapable adult. In most cases, the order lasts until the death of the adult, with the term of the guardian’s initial appointment usually lasting three years and then being renewed.
The law on making an application for a guardianship order in Scotland is found in the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. Amongst other things, it sets out an involved process and strict criteria for applying for guardianship. For instance, as well as completing a summary application, at least two medical reports on the adult’s incapacity from two different registered medical doctors must be provided. Further, the adult should not have already made provision for future incapacity through a power of attorney. Once a guardian is appointed, they have specific duties which are supervised by either the local authority or the Office of the Public Guardian, depending on what the guardian has been given legal authority to do. These requirements are necessary safeguards to ensure guardianship is not only used because it is absolutely necessary, but also so it is used to proper effect.
We’ve assisted many clients whose loved ones have become incapable of looking after their own affairs and welfare to appoint a guardian. We understand that it can seem a daunting process. We will help you through the entire procedure, from drafting the application and making representations to the court through to advice on fulfilling guardianship duties and compliance with management and accounting procedures, ensuring your loved one is protected and the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Contact our Guardianship Order Solicitors – Ayrshire, Scotland
If you need assistance with a Guardianship application or any other guardianship matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We have been serving the local community for over 30 years and are one of Ayrshire’s most respected law firms. We strive to go above and beyond what is expected of a lawyer and take pride in being trusted advisors to our clients.
Legal Aid may be available.