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How do Attorneys make decisions?

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You can appoint more than one person if you wish. If you choose to do so, you can specify in your written document how you want them to act:

  • Jointly Unless you state otherwise your Attorneys will have to act together and agree on all decisions made. Depending on your wishes you can state what you would like to happen if one Attorney dies or is untraceable. For example you may want the remaining Attorney to continue to act alone, or a substitute Attorney to step in and join the remaining Attorney.
  • Jointly and severally or severally This means that your Attorneys have to agree on decisions that are made together but they can also act alone. If you wish them to be able to act together or separately, you should include in the written document that you are appointing them “to act jointly and severally”.
  • Jointly for some decisions, and jointly and severally for other decisions This means that you can specify the decisions that should be made together and the decisions where the Attorneys can act alone.

Appointing more than one Attorney can act as a safeguard to ensure your wishes and best interests are respected. However, appointing multiple Attorneys may create conflict if they have to agree on all decisions before they can take any action on your behalf. To help Attorneys understand how they should act the Scottish Government has written a Code of Practice for Attorneys, available from the Scottish government website.