Residential property
20 Nov 2019 News

Powers of Attorney – The Statistics

Health & Social Care Scotland has designated 20 November 2019 as Power of Attorney - we’ve created a blog series covering key considerations when appointing or becoming an attorney.

Our Private Client Team prepares Powers of Attorney for our clients every day and we are always very interested to find out about the popularity of their in Scotland.  We submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Office of the Public Guardian who very helpfully provided us with some very interesting statistics.

How many Powers of Attorney have been registered in Scotland in the last 5 years?

In the last 5 years a total of 295,904 Powers of Attorney have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.  That amounts to 6% of the population of Scotland as a whole or 29% of the population over 65.  Whilst that is a reasonable percentage of our older people, we think every person over the age of 16 should think about making a Power of Attorney.

YEAR

TOTAL REGISTERED

BREAKDOWN BY TYPE

 

 

BOTH

WELFARE

FINANCIAL

01/01/2015 - 31/12/2015

61,137

59,483

744

910

01/01/2016 - 31/12/2016

50,324

48,859

661

804

01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017

78,647

77,037

709

901

01/01/2018 - 31/12/2018

58,479

57,411

481

587

01/01/2019 - 31/08/2019

47,317

46,563

350

404

 At what age do most people make a Power of Attorney?

The vast majority of Powers of Attorney are made by people over the age of 50.  Those aged 51 – 70 represent 33% and those aged 71+ represent 51% of all Powers of Attorney registered in Scotland.

There is no doubt that as we get older we think about what help we may need in the future, but a Power of Attorney is not only for older people.  Younger people are more likely to suffer a head injury through a car or other accident and this can be devastating for a young family. 

YEAR

TOTAL

BREAKDOWN BY AGE

 

 

16 - 26

27 - 50

51 - 70

71+

NOT DISCLOSED **

01/01/2015 - 31/12/2015

61,137

176

2,759

19,451

32,772

5,979

01/01/2016 - 31/12/2016

50,324

152

2,291

16,170

26,475

5,236

01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017

78,647

317

3,633

27,082

38,999

8,616

01/01/2018 - 31/12/2018

58,479

199

2,773

19,739

29,458

6,310

01/01/2019 - 31/08/2019

47,317

150

2,130

15,876

23,657

5,504

Where do people who make Powers of Attorney live?

It is good to see that people all over Scotland are making and registering a Power of Attorney.  However, although Glasgow has the highest population more people in Edinburgh prepare and register a Power of Attorney. 

LOCAL AUTHORITY

 

YEAR

 

01/01/15 -

31/12/15

01/01/16 -

31/12/16

01/01/17 -

31/12/17

01/01/18 -

31/12/18

01/01/19 -

31/08/19

Aberdeen City

2,318

1,895

1,794

2,192

1,614

Aberdeenshire

3,270

2,824

2,676

3,257

2,737

Angus

1,930

1,504

1,560

1,691

1,303

Argyll & Bute

1,448

1,091

1,064

1,303

961

City of Edinburgh

5,303

4,477

4,261

5,125

4,244

Clackmannanshire

569

5,23

448

578

448

Dumfries & Galloway

2,048

1,743

2,138

2,308

1,866

Dundee City

1,620

1,359

1,185

1,325

1,018

East Ayrshire

1,414

1,059

975

1,180

1,001

East Dunbartonshire

1,952

1,531

1,387

1,652

1,336

East Lothian

1,368

1,013

1,002

1,337

1,011

East Renfrewshire

1,524

1,299

1,175

1,347

1,126

Eilean Siar

275

217

185

290

223

Falkirk

1,511

1,250

1,255

1,615

1,417

Fife

4,415

3,855

3,475

4,169

3,425

Glasgow City

4,126

3,320

2,920

3,749

3,020

Highland

2,999

2,561

2,454

2,947

2,369

Inverclyde

899

687

555

704

674

Midlothian

956

756

787

967

733

Moray

1,045

922

931

1,137

899

Non Scottish **

149

143

149

176

99

North Ayrshire

1,748

1,259

1,220

1,553

1,263

North Lanarkshire

2,482

2,171

2,027

2,471

2,270

Orkney Islands

337

217

254

242

181

Perth & Kinross

2,763

2,160

2,149

2,354

1,779

Renfrewshire

1,915

1,599

1,607

1,820

1,485

Scottish Borders

1,495

1,246

1,454

1,851

1,492

Shetland Islands

229

221

224

354

296

South Ayrshire

1,788

1,472

1,477

1,763

1,323

South Lanarkshire

3,717

3,022

2,786

3,523

2,799

Stirling

1,150

1,017

910

1,243

911

West Dunbartonshire

792

587

578

725

677

West Lothian

1,582

1,324

1,315

1,531

1,317

 We have seen a lot in the English press about people abusing Powers of Attorney, have you had many complaints?

There has been a steady increase in the number of complaints regarding financial Attorneys reported to the Office of the Public Guardian from 150 in 2014/15 to 314 in 2018/19.  This may be due to the higher number of Powers of Attorney registered or it may be due to an increase in awareness of the abuse of Powers of Attorney. 

It is very important that attorneys are aware of the responsibilities they accept when they agree to be an attorney.  We have written an article for attorneys here https://www.gillespiemacandrew.co.uk/knowledge-centre/news/2019/dementia-awareness-week-5-tips-on-being-a-good-attorney/

Year

Complaints received

01/04/2014 - 31/03/2015

150

01/04/2015 - 31/03/2016

219

01/04/2016 - 31/03/2017

223

01/04/2017 - 31/03/2018

257

01/04/2018 - 31/03/2019

314

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