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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Our son has Autism and at 21 years old is legally an adult

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Our son has Autism and at 21 years old is legally an adult and expected to manage money and deal with his affairs as an adult. However, he will never be able to manage these tasks unaided. We have been advised to apply for power of attorney to manage his affairs for him. We live in Scotland, and have been told that due to my son's condition, we must apply to the court for this procedure. Our son will always remain within the family home for the rest of his life, supported by ourselves and his siblings.
I have recently been awarded power of attorney for managing my mother's affairs in the future should the need arise. This was a very simple procedure as she is in full control of her faculties. The procedure for taking control of my son's affairs with immediate effect appears to be a very different process.
Could you advise me on how to start on this procedure and what the likely cost could be?
Robert Rome
Thank you for your question.
The procedure you are referring to is not power of attorney procedure. For that, the person concerned has to be capable of understanding the power of attorney at the time it is made and I am presuming that your son is not capable of doing so.
The procedure you are referring to relates to applying to the sheriff for a guardianship order for your son. You will need a solicitor for this as the procedure is quite complex and involves the drafting of papers and a court hearing. However, legal aid is available for the procedure irrespective of your own financial circumstances.
Two medical certificates are obtained in support of the application which proceeds by way of a Petition to the court on your behalf as a parent. The Petition is intimated to relevant family members and after sundry court procedure, the sheriff will convene a hearing, listen to the application and the specific guardianship powers which are sought and then the application is almost invariably granted.
Your first port of call is to your solicitor. Make sure your chosen solicitor has experience in these types of applications to the court as there are time limits for lodging documents and the procedure is quite fiddly if you don't know what you're doing.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

At the end of my original message I asked for some guidance on the likely costs involved. Is this an expensive procedure? Is this likely to cost thousands or hundreds?

As I said in my answer, your son will qualify for legal aid so it should not cost anything at all.
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