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Guardianship orders are made by the Sheriff Court when a person no longer has capacity to manage their financial or welfare affairs.  A Guardianship can be applied for where a Power of Attorney can not be put in place due to the grantor’s diminished capacity. 

At MacBeath Family Law we can assist you in applying to the court to seek an order giving you powers to look after the financial and personal wellbeing of your family. 

Guardianship orders are specific to the person they relate to.  

We can help you navigate the process, which can often be an emotional and stressful period for families. 

What do you need to know about Guardianships: 


You can apply to become a guardian with either financial powers or welfare powers or a combination of both. 

Financial powers will enable you to deal with any benefits received by the adult, any bank accounts in their name and any debts which are or become due.   

Welfare powers enable you to make decisions about where the person should reside, the type of care they receive and what social activities they take part in. 


Civil Legal Aid provided by the Scottish Legal Aid Board is available to cover the costs of applying for a Guardianship Order. 


An application is submitted to the court together with various reports to support the application.  A court hearing will be fixed for the Sheriff to determine the application or if the Sheriff needs more information they will order further reports or appoint a safeguarder (an independent solicitor) to provide and opinion on the appropriateness application. 

When an order is granted

If a Guardianship Order is granted by the Sheriff the order will be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian.  They then issue you with a certificate and only when you receive the certificate can you act as a Guardian. 

Opposing a Guardianship Order

You may be the person who is the subject of the application or you may be a family member/primary carer who objects to the application. 


It is vital that you act quickly because once the guardianship order is granted it is much harder and potentially more expensive to have it revoked than participating in the process at an early stage. 


It is important you seek advice as soon as possible after receiving the paperwork.  The court will have usually assigned a hearing within 28 days. 

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