At present, there is no legal basis for a family member or ‘next-of-kin’ to take on an automatic decision-making role or to give or withhold consent on behalf of another adult. Every adult is presumed to have decision-making capacity and may choose whether or not a family member is involved when they are making decisions. They may also decide whether or not their information is shared with a family member.
When the 2015 Act commences, a person who faces challenges when making decisions may give someone they know and trust, such as a family member or carer, the legal authority to act as their decision supporter.
The person’s need for a decision support arrangement will depend on their circumstances and the decisions that they need to make.
At the upper tier, where the court appoints a decision-making representative to a person, it will appoint someone known and trusted by them where possible. The court must consider the wishes of the person when appointing a decision-making representative.