Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (2)


The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 introduces a system of supports which gives those with capacity difficulties greater autonomy.

DECISION MAKING ASSISTANT

A Decision Making Assistant will assist the Relevant Person making the decision to obtain the information needed to make the decision. A Decision Making Assistant will explain the information to the Relevant Person and obtain the Relevant Person's will and preference in relation to the decision. The Decision Making Assistant will also communicate the decision and follow up on the decision to make sure that it is implemented. Even if a Decision Making Assistant believes that the Relevant Person is making an unwise decision, he or she must assist the Relevant Person in making the decision of the Relevant Person's choice as long as no harm comes to the Relevant Person or to another person. The appointment of the Decision Making Assistant must be done by written agreement between the Relevant Person and the proposed Decision Making Assistant.

A Decision Making Assistant shall not make decisions on behalf of the Relevant Person.

CO-DECISION MAKER

A Relevant Person may appoint somebody to jointly make one or more decisions about the Relevant Person's personal welfare or property and affairs or both.

The Co-Decision Maker will obtain the information needed, advise on the decision(s) and make decision(s) jointly with the Relevant Person based on the Relevant Person's will and preference.

The Co-Decision Maker will help the Relevant Person express a decision and ensure that the decision is implemented.

A written agreement setting out, inter alia, the types of decision, must be registered with the Director of the Decision Support Service within five weeks of the agreement being signed. Notice of the registration must be given to certain specified family members who may object to registration.

Each agreement is reviewed by the Director of the Decision Support Service.

The Co-Decision Maker must file a report with the Director every year. In that report they must set out what they have done including details of all transactions in relation to the person's finances and details of any costs and expenses paid.

DECISION MAKING REPRESENTATIVE

The 2015 Act provides for the intervention by the courts where it is believed that a person lacks capacity to such an extent that they require decisions to be made on their behalf completely by somebody else. In such cases a Decision Making Representative may be appointed by the court.

The Circuit Court may appoint a Decision Making Representative or it may make a decision making order on behalf of the Relevant Person.

A Decision Making Representative has whatever powers the court directs. However, a Decision Making Representative cannot prohibit a person from having contact with the Relevant Person or restrain the Relevant Person except in exceptional circumstances.

The Director of the Decision Support Service must keep a register of Decision Making Representatives.

Decision Making Representatives must file a report every twelve months.


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