Published 29 September 2022

West Dunbartonshire residents are being urged to safeguard their future on National Power of Attorney Day.

The impact of not having Power of Attorney in place can be both distressing and upsetting for families when someone loses capacity, and every year thousands of people are impacted.

From something as simple as a fall, an accident or diagnosis of illnesses like dementia, it can happen to anyone at any age – and without a Power of Attorney in place loved ones are not legally allowed to make any decisions for the person’s welfare or finances.

Contrary to the urban myth of “next of kin”, the only officially recognised way to ensure that a trusted family member or friend is legally empowered to oversee their loved one’s affairs is to have a Power of Attorney (PoA) registered with the Public Guardian (Scotland) ahead of time.

Anyone over the age of 16 can grant a PoA, either solely addressing their welfare or financial affairs or combining both in a single document.

This is such a crucial issue, potentially affecting millions of Scots, that Health and Social Care Partnerships across the country have come together to actively support and spread the word on Power of Attorney Day.

Multiple partners from the public, private and voluntary sector are on board, including local authorities, health boards, Scottish Legal Aid, the Law Society of Scotland Alzheimer Scotland and carers’ networks.

It’s important not to leave your future to chance. For more information about how to set up Power of Attorney for you and your loved ones visit