Applying for a guardianship or intervention order: guide for carers

How to apply for authority to make financial and welfare decisions for someone else.

Chapter 1 About this guide

This guide is for carers who are concerned that the person they care for is unable to take action or make some or all decisions in relation to their finances, personal welfare or health, due to a mental disability or severe communications difficulties, such as a stroke. It provides information on:

  • how the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 can help;
  • the purpose of guardianship and intervention orders;
  • considerations to make before taking forward an application for a guardianship or intervention order;
  • deciding what powers to apply for;
  • how to make an application;
  • procedures and costs;
  • what to do next when you have been appointed;
  • frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The process of making an application and being appointed guardian or intervener can seem daunting. We hope this pack will help to guide you smoothly through that process.

Terms used in this guide

In this guide the term 'carer' refers to a partner, spouse, family member or friend who cares, in an unpaid capacity, for an adult who lacks the ability to make some or all decisions for themselves. When the text refers to 'you' this means you, the reader, as the would-be guardian or intervener. The term 'adult' refers to the person (aged 16 and over) being considered for a guardianship or intervention order. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act is abbreviated to 'AWI' or 'the Act'.

Please note that the information in this guide does not constitute legal advice.

If you have any comments on this guide or suggestions as to how it can be improved, please contact us: Tel. 0131 244 3581, or e-mail: or write to:

Scottish Government
Justice Directorate
Civil Law and Legal System Division
Area 2W, St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh EH1 3DG


Email: Alison Mason

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