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Power of Attorney Day

Have you ever considered what would happen to your personal and financial affairs if you lost the capacity to make your own decisions through illness or injury?

It’s national Power of Attorney Day on Thursday, November 23, and families across North Ayrshire are being urged to think about arranging Power of Attorney (PoA) over loved ones in a bid to protect their wishes if the worst should happen.

Without PoA, your family and loved ones have no legal right to make decisions on your behalf should you lose capacity. Instead, these decisions will be made by the health and social care team looking after you.

While the courts can appoint someone to act as your Guardian after you become incapacitated, this can be a complicated and expensive process that can lead to long delays in being able to leave hospital.

Even when you’re medically fit to leave you may legally not be able to, which can be extremely distressing for patients and families.

Power of Attorney is a legal document allowing a nominated person to act or make decisions on a family member or friend’s behalf, and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership is appealing for more people to sign up.

There are three different types of PoA available:

  • Continuing PoA, which gives powers to deal with money and/or property.
  • Welfare PoA, which gives powers to make decisions around health or personal welfare matters.
  • Combined PoA, which gives both continuing and welfare power.
North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership icon with open hands

While none of us want to think of a time when we may be unable to make decisions for ourselves, setting up a Power of Attorney can be indispensable should you find yourself ill or with a serious injury.

Without it, your loved ones could face costly court proceedings in order to be able to make important decisions about your healthcare options and finances. It’s really easy to set up, and financial help is available in some cases through Legal Aid.

It’s never too early to start the conversation with your partner, family or friends – even young people can sadly become incapacitated due to an illness or accident – so don’t put it off. In many cases, by the time people need PoA it’s too late to arrange.

If you’d like to find out more about Power of Attorney, consult your lawyer or visit

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