MyScottishAttorneyA comment on this blog from an Irish reader has motivated me to write about the Power of Attorney forms that can be found on the Scottish Office of the Public Guardian website.

They are described as “samples” and it is made clear that they are provided to “assist customers identify what a power of attorney is and what the legal document could look like”. Clearly, the Scottish Public Guardian does not want to be sued and so will not make a statement that these are fit for purpose.

Since, as you will appreciate, I have had to carry out a great deal of research into Powers of Attorney for launching my service, I am able to say that they are not comprehensive.

It may well be that, utilising those forms, some people may well find that their future needs are met but the problem with a Power of Attorney is that, if it is not comprehensive, that issue may well only become apparent after you have become incapax and it is too late. After that, it is likely that a guardianship order would be required.

The average price of a solicitor-made power in Scotland is, according to my research, £270 excluding the cost of registration (although this varies from solicitor to solicitor, some being higher).

I have designed the Powers on my website and I include all the necessary instructions for you and your Attorney on what to do after you have signed your Power of Attorney. Because I have carried out the considerable research and preparatory work upfront in order to automate the service, I’m able to charge only £99 for the online service.

So, in Scotland, at least, customers have a choice: —
1. Try the public Guardian’s forms (free apart from your time in working out what to do);
2. Use my service at and follow the comprehensive instructions provided (fixed price £99); or
3. Use a solicitor (variable price).

Bruce de Wert is founder of online legal services MyScottishLaw. He is also principal  at Georgesons Wick and Thurso