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Making a Welfare Power of Attorney

Steps to making a Welfare Power of Attorney (WPA)

There are three key steps to making a WPA:

  1. Choose your attorney.
  2. Complete a written document and certificate of capacity (see below).
  3. Register the WPA with the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland (OPG Scotland).

A WPA must be registered with the OPG Scotland before it can be used. The OPG Scotland is part of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. They manage the Power of Attorney registration process and have a register of all WPAs.

Things you’ll need to make a Welfare Power of Attorney (WPA)

To make a WPA you need the following things:

A written document

There’s no specific form for the written document. You can ask a solicitor to help draft the document or you can write your own. Template forms are available from some local stationery shops to help you to write your own document.

A written document must:

  • state the names and addresses of your attorneys
  • state the specific powers that you want your attorneys to have
  • state that the powers are Welfare (as opposed to Continuing for money and property)
  • if you’ve chosen more than one attorney, specify how you want them to act. If you don’t specify anything, the attorneys will have to act jointly
  • include a statement which confirms that you have considered how incapacity is to be determined
  • be signed by you and your signature must then be witnessed by someone who then must also sign the document

A certificate of capacity

You must get a certificate of capacity form from the OPG Scotland. This is called the Schedule 1 certificate. It needs to be signed by a solicitor registered to practise law in Scotland or a UK medical doctor to confirm that:

  • they’ve spoken to you immediately before the document was signed
  • they’re satisfied that you understand the purpose of the WPA and the power that any attorneys would have
  • they have no reason to believe that you’re being pressurised to make the WPA

Your attorney can’t be the person who signs your certificate of capacity.