Guardians

Who can be appointed as a guardian? Guardians are always individuals except in certain welfare only cases where the “Chief Social Work officer of the Local Authority” is appointed. In the latter case effectively a position is being appointed – usually where no close family exist or where no family members wish to be appointed. Whilst close family members are usually appointed, but frequently solicitors are often appointed to deal with in the financial aspects of guardianships where the family don’t have the time to deal with the administrative burden of doing so. Whoever applies, this person must be approved as a “suitable” person by the Sheriff who must consider certain criteria laid down in the Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act. The criteria are largely matters of common sense and include, for example, the potential Guardian’s accessibility to the adult and the ability of the individual to carry out the functions of a guardian. Close relatives - mainly spouses and children - are often appointed but they have no automatic right of appointment by reason of being a close relative and still have to pass this suitability test.