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What happens if you have become incapacitated?

If you become incapacitated a person with an interest in your affairs may apply to legally act on your behalf via the Sheriff Court. This person is called a Guardian. A Guardian is usually appointed for a period of three years or more. There are two types of Guardian who can do so – a Financial Guardian and a Welfare Guardian:

  • a Financial Guardian will help deal with your financial affairs
  • a Welfare Guardian will deal with other matters concerning welfare and healthcare


If you become incapacitated and a person needs to act on your behalf to carry out a one-off action (for example, selling a house), an Intervention Order will need to be applied for. This order gives a person legal authority to carry out a one-off action and can be applied for at the Sheriff Court.

If an individual or organisation needs to gain access to your funds, they could do so by applying to the Access to Funds scheme.