World Mental Health Awareness Day, Monday 10th October 2011
Mental Health issues affect people in all walks of life, and of all ages. They might come on suddenly and severely as a result of illness or injury, or it might be more gradual, or chronic and lifelong. The way in which mental health issues affect people varies widely too. They can affect the way we feel and also our ability to look after ourselves and our affairs.
If you or someone you knew was affected by mental health issues, you might think of speaking to family or friends for help, or a variety of people within the care professions. But would you think of speaking to a solicitor?
If you, or someone you know, needs significant help in making decisions about their own welfare or their financial affairs, we might be able to help.
Because we realise that unfortunately mental health issues, and loss of legal capacity, can arise without warning, we recommend that all clients have a Power of Attorney making provision for who they want making decisions for them if and when they are unable to make those decisions for themselves.
However if a person's existing mental health issues mean that they already lack the legal capacity to grant a Power of Attorney and to make decisions for themsleves, the law (the Adults with Incaapcaity (Scotland) Act 2000) allows for the appointment of a Guardian or Intervener to that person. This may be a family member, or a professional peron, or even a close friend. The Guardian/Intervener is authorised to make decisions for the adult which help safeguard and promote the adult's personal welfare and financial affairs.
At Balfour + Manson we have considerable experience in assisting clients with Powers of Attorney and Guardianship orders. If you think we might be able to help you, or someone you know, please contact Jillian Barnes or Catriona Garcia.