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Adults with Incapacity

Adults with incapacity, Guardianships, Intervention Order

In the unfortunate situation where there is a young adult (aged 16 and over) or adult who lacks capacity and the ability to make some or all decisions for themselves, it may well be necessary to apply to the courts for a Guardianship or Intervention Order to be granted if there’s not one already in place or indeed, a Power of Attorney created when (and if) the adult in question was considered to have capacity.

When is a Guardianship or Intervention Order necessary?

It would be appropriate for an Intervention Order or Guardianship Order to be made through the eyes of the law when an adult over the age of 16 lacks capacity. When there is clear evidence that they are unable to understand the information pertinent to a decision, have the ability to make a decision based on the information supplied; act upon or communicate a decision or have the ability to remember the decision made.

There are many instances when a person may require someone else to act on their behalf to safeguard them, support them through daily life and protect their best interests when decisions have to be made. These include dementia, a brain injury, mental health illness or complex and multiple learning disabilities.

Intervention Order

An Intervention Order is a temporary measure and so most appropriate for a ‘one-off’ decision or action.

Guardianship Order

A Guardianship Order is a long-term measure to grant powers to make decisions and act on behalf of the adult and applications can be put forward for a financial and/or welfare order. It all comes down to the individual needs and requirements of the adult in question.

Who can apply?

These orders, generally speaking, enable a relative, friend or carer (in some instances even a social worker or professional such as a Solicitor) to certain legal authorities over welfare, health care, property and financial decisions on the adult’s behalf.

The law that sets out the role and responsibilities of Guardians is the ‘Adults with Incapacity Act (Scotland) 2000’. At all times the Guardian must put the best interests of the person they are acting for first.

How we can help

This is a highly complex area of law that our Legal team have years of experience in dealing with. We will guide you through the process from beginning to end, keeping you informed and advised at all times. Because of the complicated, sometimes drawn out nature of these Orders, we will always give practical advice to ascertain if there are other options available.

If an Order is necessary we will:


Kirkcaldy: 01592 204774

Dunfermline: 01383 738000

Burntisland: 01592 873501

Dundee: 01382 568188

Broxburn: 01506 855777

The best way forward...

For expert advice on the best way forward with regards to the particular adult in question, get in touch with our sensitive, yet realistic specialists. We offer a free no-obligation initial meeting or phone call to understand the circumstances and put a plan of action in place.

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What our clients say...

“The team are high professional, very knowledgeable, and fair and reasonable to work with. I would recommend the team to anyone, as I regularly do, in, both my professional and personal life.” Kerry Busfield