The long-anticipated commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 looks set to be in sight, and the new Act will possibly commence in the Summer of 2022. 

Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015

The Purpose of the Act is to maximise a person’s right to make their own decisions, with legally recognised supports where applicable. This modern statutory framework will support decision-making for adults who generally experience difficulty in making decisions without help.

The Decision Support Service (DSS), which was established under the Act, will be responsible for registering Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) created under the Act of 2015. The Wards of Court Office will continue to register Enduring Powers of Attorney created under the Powers of Attorney Act 1996 as normal. It is expected that the DSS will assist up to 5,500 people in its first six months of operation.

In a similar manner, applications to court made in relation to EPAs made under the 1996 Act will be dealt with by the Wards of Court Office, and applications to court made in relation to EPAs created under the 2015 Act will be dealt with by the Decision Support Service.

Under the 2015 Act, the Circuit Court can hear the application and the Director of the Decision Support Service will have power to investigate complaints made in relation to Attorneys, for reasons including suitability and neglect, among others.

The Decision Support Service is currently in consultation about its Codes of Practice and its website sets out its various functions. The comprehensive set of resources can now be viewed on the Decision Support Service website.


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