FAQ Decision-making representation order

This is not a term in the 2015 Act. The Decision Support Service uses the term ‘decision-supporter’ to refer to a person who has been appointed as a:

  • decision-making assistant under a decision-making assistance agreement
  • co-decision-maker under a co-decision-making agreement
  • decision-making representative under a decision-making representation order
  • attorney under an enduring power of attorney
  • designated healthcare representative under an advance healthcare directive.

The type of support they can provide depends on the decision support arrangement in place.

Ideally, a decision supporter will be a family member or trusted friend.

At the upper tier of support, the person may not have someone who is available and suitable to act as a decision-making representative. The Decision Support Service will recruit and maintain a panel of people who are suitable to act as decision-making representatives. The court can ask us to nominate two decision-making representatives from this panel and the court can choose to appoint one of them.

You can find out more about decision supporters under each agreement by clicking on the link to our Services page.

A decision-making representative’s role is to make certain decisions on behalf of a person if they are unable to make those decisions for themselves. They will be appointed by the court in an order called a decision-making representation order.

The court order will list all the decisions that the decision-making representative can make. This may include decisions about the person’s personal welfare and property and affairs. A decision-making representative can only make decisions that are included in the order.

You can find out more about the role and responsibilities of a decision-making representative on our Decision-Making Representatives page.

The court may decide to appoint more than one decision-making representative to make decisions on behalf of a person. If the court appoints more than one decision-making representative in a decision-making representation order, it will say whether they:

  • must make the decisions in the order together
  • can make the decisions together or separately
  • must make some decisions together but can make other decisions together or separately.

Yes, you can register a decision support arrangement with us via our MyDSS portal. You can access our portal through the portal link on the Decision Support Service website in the top right-hand corner of the screen. You can find out more on our Useful Links page.

There will be fees to register a co-decision-making agreement and an enduring power of attorney. These fees have been set by regulation. You can view a full list of all our fees by clicking on the link fees in the resources section of our website.

Some people may not have to pay a fee. This will depend on your household income and any dependents you have. You can view information on the criteria for obtaining a fee waiver as well as the process for applying in our resources section by clicking on the link resources section of our website.

There are also costs related to making an application to court to make a decision-making representation order. Some people may be able to get legal aid to help with this, this could include legal representation. For more information on this, contact the legal aid board.

If you do not have a person, you know and trust who can be your decision supporter, at the upper tier of support only, the Decision Support Service may be able to nominate a decision-making representative from our panel. A decision-making representative can only be assigned to you by a court order. Learn more about the panels by clicking on the link panels

If you need someone to help you to access information and explain it to you, you may find it helpful to contact an advocacy organisation. You can find out more on our Useful Links page.

We have the authority to investigate complaints about decision-making arrangements and decision supporters. You will find our complaints form on the forms section of the website. You can email or post this form to us.

You can also contact the complaints team on 01 211 9750 or email complaints@decisionsupportservice.ie.