family lawyer edinburgh guardianship

Guardianship Order Lawyers Edinburgh

Guardianship Order Lawyer Edinburgh

If you need advice and assistance in relation to Guardianship Orders, we can help. We understand that this may be a difficult time for you and your family, so we strive to make the process as straightforward as possible.

When a person loses the ability to take care of their own affairs, they are often described as having ‘lost capacity’. A person who has lost capacity may need assistance with making decisions and managing both their financial/property affairs and their welfare affairs. A Guardianship Order gives another person the power to make decisions on this person’s behalf.

Legal Aid may be available in Guardianship Order cases to fund the cost of the court action. To find out how we can help you, contact us on 0131 341 4990 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 or mental incapacity - 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 and Welfare Power of Attorney then a Guardianship Order should not be required, as the attorney should be able to assist them managing their affairs. 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.

What powers does a Guardianship Order provide?

A Guardianship Order gives someone the power to act on behalf of another in relation to the powers set out in that order. The powers that can be given are wide-ranging, but fall into two categories: financial/property powers and welfare powers.

Financial/Property Powers

Financial powers under a Guardianship Order can, for example, give the Guardian powers to access a bank account containing funds belonging to the adult with incapacity, receive funds, income and pension on behalf of the adult with incapacity and to use those funds as is appropriate. This may include; paying bills, making contracts, buying and selling items, managing money, and providing funds for day-to-day living costs of the adult with incapacity. The order may also enable the guardian to buy and sell property on behalf of the adult.

Welfare Powers

Welfare powers allow the Guardian to make decisions such as where the adult should live, food and personal hygiene decisions, and decisions about their care. They may also access the adult’s personal information such as social work files or medical records.

Who Can Be a Guardian?

Routinely a family member, friend or professional person such as a solicitor is 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 views will be sought 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. The proposed guardian would normally instruct a solicitor to prepare this for them, to ensure that the application is in the correct format and seeks the appropriate powers. The various reports required must have been obtained within 30 days of submitting the application, to ensure they are up to date. 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 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.

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 Waverley 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.

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 our solicitors today on 0131 341 4990 or complete our online enquiry form.

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