Guardianship Order Lawyers Edinburgh
When a person loses the ability to take care of their own affairs, they are described in legal terms as having ‘lost capacity.’ A Guardianship Order gives someone power to make decisions on this person’s behalf.
Legal Aid is automatically granted to Guardianship Order cases. To find out how we can help you, contact us on 01313414990 or complete our online enquiry form.
What is a Guardianship Order?
If a person loses the ability to make decisions for themselves - known as losing capacity - then relatives often require to go through the legal process to obtain Guardianship Order powers. If, prior to losing capacity, the person had created a continuing Power of Attorney then a Guardianship Order would not be required. However, given that incapacity can arise in many unforeseen ways, such as an accident or sudden illness, often powers of attorney are not in place.
A Guardianship Order is granted by the Sheriff Court in Scotland. Such an order grants ongoing powers to the Guardian to make decisions on behalf of the adult being cared for via the order. The Order can specify that the Guardian has authority to make decisions about financial and property matters, or for welfare issues such as healthcare and treatment. Also the Order can specify that the Guardian has powers in relation to both financial/property matters and also welfare issues.
The Sheriff Court that the Guardianship Order application is lodged at will depend on whereabouts the adult without capacity lives. In the East and Central Belt of Scotland, the main Sheriff Courts are Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Dunfermline Sheriff Court, Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Alloa Sheriff Court, Stirling Sheriff Court and Falkirk Sheriff Court.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Edinburgh Sheriff Court is the largest court in the Lothian and Borders area. The court is situated in the centre of Edinburgh at Sheriff Court House, 27 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LB. Everyone who enters the building is subject to a security check.
As the court is located in the centre of Edinburgh, there are excellent public transport connections. There are many bus routes that stop on nearby George IV Bridge and South Bridge.
Edinburgh Waverly Rail station is approximately a 10 minute walk away from the court.
There is a taxi rank opposite the entrance to the court.
This court serves many areas of Edinburgh, such as Craigentinny, Leith, Gogar, Blackford and Danderhall. This would also be the closest Sheriff Court to adults living in areas such as North Berwick, Gullane, Haddington, East Linton, Aberlady, Port Seton, Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg, Dunbar and Penicuik.
Dunfermline Sheriff Court
Dunfermline Sheriff Court is located at Sheriff Court House, 1/6 Carnegie Drive, Dunfermline, KY12 7HJ. Dunfermline Town is the closest Rail Station and is a 10 minute walk from the court. There is a large free public car park on Leys Park Road a few minutes’ walk away from the court.
This Sheriff Court serves areas surrounding Dunfermline, such as Kincardine, Queensferry, Crossford, Rosyth, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay, Aberdour, Crossgates and Cowdenbeath.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court is located close to the main shopping area of the town at Sheriff Court House,Whytescauseway, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1XQ. The Court is a 10 minute walk away from Kirkcaldy Rail Station. There is free parking at the station.
Adults living in areas surrounding Kirkcaldy, such as Kinghorn, Dysart, Auchtertool and West Wemyss, would make an application at this court.
Stirling Sheriff Court
The address of Stirling Sheriff Court is Sheriff Court House, Viewfield Place, Stirling, FK8 1NH. The bus and train stations are located a quarter of a mile from the court. Although there is no public car parking available at the courthouse, there are a number of pay and display parking places on Queen Street and free on-street parking in Cowane Street.
Stirling Sheriff Court serves areas such as Bridge of Allan, Bannockburn, Dunblane, Blairdrummond and Tullibody.
Who Can Be a Guardian?
Routinely a family member, friend or professional person such as a solicitor are appointed as Guardian. The court needs to be satisfied that the person seeking to become a Guardian is a 'suitable' person to be receiving such powers. This is determined by the production of various reports for the Sheriff to consider. Where possible, the wishes of the adult should be taken into consideration and reports will be obtained from 'relevant persons' such as the adult's Doctor, and the Chief Social Worker where welfare powers are sought.
What Does the Guardianship Process Involve?
In order to obtain Guardianship, an application requires to be made to the Sheriff Court. Legal advice is routinely sought prior to doing so to ensure that the application is in the correct format and seeks the appropriate powers. The various reports required must be lodged with the court within 30 days of submitting the application. A hearing will be assigned and the Sheriff will consider all aspects of the application, reports and raise any issues or seek clarification on certain points before a decision to grant the Order is made. Our solicitors can help you with each and every aspect of this process.
Upon being granted, the Order requires to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The Guardian requires to follow a supervision regime whereby annual accounts are submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian in respect of financial issues. For welfare matters the local authority supervises how such powers have been exercised. Family Law Edinburgh solicitors can advise you on all aspects of your ongoing obligations as a Guardian.
Guardianship Order Lawyers Edinburgh
We hope this information outline has given you some insight into the framework and processes involved in relation to Guardianship Order matters.
Contact out solicitors today on 01313414990 or complete our online enquiry form.