Planning your future care

8) What would happen if there is no power of attorney?

A female patient in a hospital bed holding hands with the hospital chaplain

© Crown copyright 2099

If sometime later you become unwell and no longer able to make or remember decisions – you no longer have capacity.

If you are too unwell to make or communicate your decisions the medical and respiratory team will try to make the best decisions about your care at that time. Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to make the best decisions on your behalf, including asking your family and loved ones about your care. In Scots law the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 protects the rights of the individual.

If you are unable to make your wishes known and you don’t arrange a power of attorney, bank accounts and assets could be frozen. To sort this out someone needs to apply for Guardianship which is a very costly legal process.

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