Guardianships are orders that are granted by the Court to allow a person to act on behalf of someone who is unable to do so themselves. Some people may have appointed an Attorney to deal with their affairs, but there are situations where that has not been possible, for example due to ill health or incapacity.
If an Attorney has not been appointed and a person over the age of 16 years is unable to make decisions for themselves then a Guardianship can be applied for, usually by a member of that person’s close family.
There are different types of Guardianship and it is important to seek advice to ensure that the person’s needs are properly met. Guardianships can deal with financial affairs, personal welfare or both.
A Guardianship dealing with financial affairs will, for example, allow access to bank accounts or to sell a house. Welfare Guardianships relate to personal issues, such as types of care and accommodation.
We can also advise you on eligibility for Legal Aid as there are different rules that apply to this area of law and in particular to Welfare Guardianships.
In all types of Guardianship an application must be submitted to the local Sheriff Court along with a number of supporting documents, in particular medical reports. We can advise you on this process and will instruct the various reports which are required within the time limits specified by statute.
When applying for a Guardianship it is important to be aware that the process may take several months to complete. It is preferable to act early and make a Power of Attorney when or if this is still possible.
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