When a person lacks the capacity to make decisions, someone else has to make it for them. This sounds straightforward enough, except that the person who makes the decision has to have some legal authority to do so. We have the expertise to guide you through the process, whether involving capacity or incapacity.

Unlike children, where their parent can make decisions for them while they are under 16, an adult is entitled and expected to make their own decisions. No-one else has any automatic right to make them, except in things like medical emergencies.

People are living longer and conditions such as dementia are on the increase. An accident, catastrophic injury or other incapacitating illness can strike at any stage. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 sets out a framework for allowing someone else to take charge of your affairs.

Powers of Attorney are the mechanism for future decisions and can be granted while you have capacity.  In this way, you can make your own choice of who you want to give these powers to.

Guardianship is the route if the capacity to appoint an attorney has been lost. The guardianship application will be made to the court and the sheriff will appoint the appropriate guardian for you, usually the person making the application. The powers can relate to financial matters or welfare matters or both.

We have many years of expertise in guiding clients through the issues which incapacity can bring.

How can we help?


The firm has a strong ethos; the lawyers understand where the clients are coming from and what their priorities are.

Client Quote, Chambers UK 2018

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