‘An Overview Of The New System To Protect Vulnerable People Making Decisions’

This video examines how the 2015 Act and the 2022 Amendment Bill creates a new system to support vulnerable people to make decisions. When fully commenced before the end of 2022, they will repeal the Lunacy Act of 1871, and abolish Wards of Court. They will also legislate for Advance Health Care Directives and will make substantial changes to the operation of Enduring Powers of Attorney.

John Costello explains how the new legislation will substantially assist vulnerable people in our society with Decision-Making and will also give them much needed legal protection from abuse or exploitation or fraud.

There will also be provision for assisted decision-making, when a person whose capacity to make a decision is in question, he/she can appoint a person to assist, co-decide, or have somebody appointed to represent them for the purpose of making a decision.

A new office called the Decision Support Service (DSS) will be established and will be run by the Director of the DSS. This office is a new department within the Mental Health Commission. The director will have a role in public awareness, information and guidance, developing codes of practice, advising state bodies, making investigations and keeping records and reports.

The legislation will only apply to people over 18. Parents and Guardians remain as decision makers for children unless they are a Ward of Court. If a person requires Decision-Making support when they reach 18, they will need to avail of one of the new structures to support their Decision-Making.


John Costello has almost 40 years of experience in advising clients in relation to wills, administration of estates, tax planning, wards of court, powers of attorney and other legal issues concerning the elderly. A Past President of the Law Society of Ireland, John is the author of a best-selling book entitled ‘Law & Finance in Retirement’, which was updated in November 2016. John was the Chairperson of the Parole Board from 2011 - 2021 where he has earnestly set about endeavouring to improve procedures and efficiency.

Category of CPD: Category A (General)
Duration: 1.5 Hours


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