Making a decision-making assistance agreement

You will be able to appoint a decision-making assistant by making a decision-making assistance agreement. The agreement must be in writing and include details of the decisions that your decision-making assistant will help you with. It must include a statement by you that you understand the agreement. Your decision-making assistant must confirm that they understand their duties and will carry them out.

You can choose a decision-making assistant by making a decision-making assistance agreement. The agreement must be in writing and must be signed by you and your decision-making assistant. The agreement needs to be witnessed by an approved person. It must contain details of types of decisions that you want your decision-making assistant to help you with.

You must also tell us how long you want the decision-making assistance agreement to last for. The maximum time the agreement can last for is three years. You can make a new agreement if your current agreement has expired or is about to expire.

The agreement must be notified to us for it to have legal effect.

You can have more than one decision-making assistance agreement and you can have more than one decision-making assistant for each agreement.

Making a decision-making assistance agreement – step by step

Making a decision-making assistance agreement takes a number of steps. You may need a person you trust to help you to complete one or more of these steps.

We will provide you with the forms and templates you will need to make a decision-making assistance agreement and to notify it to us.

The easiest way to make a decision-making assistance agreement is by setting up an account on our online portal MyDSS at the link MyDSS and completing an application online. If you cannot access a computer or set up an account online, that is no problem. You can contact us, and we will help you set up your account. Click on the link Contact Us.

Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form. You can contact us, and we can post one to you.

Before you begin

There are a number of steps involved in making a decision-making assistance agreement. Before you begin the application, you should decide:

  • Who do you want your decision-making assistant to be?
  • What types of decisions do you want them to help you with now and in the future?
  • Are there any decisions you do not want or need help with?
  • Are there any organisations, businesses or professionals that will want to see a copy of your decision-making assistance agreement?

Steps to make a decision-making assistance agreement

This section tells you about the different steps you will need to take if you want to make a decision-making assistance agreement using our online portal. We are available to assist you and provide information and guidance at every step in the process.

  1. Set up your account on MyDSS by clicking on the link MyDSS

You can make a decision-making assistance agreement using our online portal MyDSS. To do this, you will first have to set up an account. You can use this account to manage your application. You will also be able to send messages to us or ask us questions.

You can find detailed instructions and watch a video on how to make an account in our Resources section.

  1. Fill out the decision-making assistance agreement application

Once you have logged into your myDSS account you will need to tell us which decision support arrangement you want to make. You can start a new application. When you select the type of arrangement, you should pick decision-making assistance agreement.

The first part of the application is the decision-making assistance agreement form. There are four sections in this form:

  • Relevant person details – this is information about you, the person making the agreement
  • Supporter details – this is information about the person you are choosing to be your decision-making assistant
  • Existing arrangements – in this section, you need to tell us if you have any other existing decision support arrangements
  • Arrangement decisions – in this section you tell us about the decisions you want help with. You must also tell us how long you want the agreement to last for
  1. Download template forms

After you have filled out the four sections of the form and you are happy with what you have included in your decision-making assistance agreement, you can save it and download the following forms:

Form

About

Decision-making assistance agreement template

This is a copy of your decision-making assistance agreement so far. You must bring this with you when signing your declarations in front of your witness. You can access the sample form at the link Decision-making assistance agreement template.

Appointer declaration form

This is the part of your decision-making assistance agreement that you sign in front of an approved witness. You will have to confirm that you understand and agree to enter into the agreement. You can access a sample form at link Decision-making assistant appointer declaration.

Decision-making assistant declaration form

This is the part of your decision-making assistance agreement that your decision-making assistant signs in front of an approved witness. You can access a sample for at the link Decision-making assistant agreement declaration form

 

  1. Sign the declarations in your decision-making assistance agreement in front of an approved witness

You and your decision-making assistant must sign the declarations in your decision-making assistance agreement in front of an approved witness. A witness must be one of the following persons must not be related to the appointer or party to the decision-making assistance agreement:

  • a registered medical practitioner
  • a garda
  • a commissioner for oaths
  • a member of clergy
  • a lawyer
  • an elected public representative
  • an accountant
  • a dentist
  • a nurse
  • a pharmacist    
  • a specified healthcare professional

If you are physically unable to complete the declaration, someone else can sign this on your behalf. They must do this in front of you and your witness.

From this step, you have 5 weeks to send your decision-making assistance agreement to us

  1. Upload completed forms and statements

After you have completed all of the required forms you can upload them to our portal at the link MyDSS. You will need to give us details of your witness at this time.

  1. Pay the notification fee

You must now pay the notification fee before you submit your application. You can also apply to have the fee waived in this section, which means you do not have to pay based on your income and dependents.

  1. Submit your application

After completing all of the steps, you can now submit your application to us. We will review the application to make sure you have sent us all of the necessary information and to check that it meets the legal requirements.

After you submit your application

After you submit your application to notify us of your decision-making assistance agreement, we will review the application and supporting documents provided to check that they meet legal requirements.

We may need to ask you or your decision-making assistant for more information.

We will decide whether to approve or decline your application. If we think we may need to decline your application, we will let you know and give you an opportunity to provide us with further information. You can also ask us to review our decision.

If we decide to approve your application, we will let you know and send you a certified copy of the decision-making assistance agreement. You may need to provide a copy of the agreement to certain professionals or organisations who need to check your decision-making assistant’s authority.

Find out more

You can read more about making a decision-making assistance agreement in our guidance material, which can be found in our resources section of our website at the link resources section. 

They include important information about:

  • The things you need to consider before you make a decision-making assistance agreement
  • The types of decisions you can get help with
  • What the person you choose to help you can and cannot do and what their responsibilities are
  • What happens after you have made a decision-making assistance agreement
  • Steps for completing the decision-making assistance agreement application
  • A step-by-step guide to using our online portal myDSS to make a decision-making assistance agreement