Decision-making assistance agreement


If you have difficulty making certain decisions on your own or think you may soon have a difficulty, you can make a decision-making assistance agreement and choose a person you trust to be your decision-making assistant.

This agreement allows you to choose which decisions you need help with. It also gives your chosen person the legal recognition to help you to make those decisions for yourself. Your decision-making assistant does not make decisions for you. Instead, they help you to make your own decisions.

The decisions in your agreement can be about your personal welfare, property and money matters.

For example, they may help you make decisions about your home or assist you in making decisions about employment, training or social activities.

You can decide how long the agreement can last. It can be for a certain length of time, or it can be ongoing.

Decision-making assistance agreements are one of the agreements that can be made under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. If you need someone to make decisions with you, you can make a co-decision making agreement.

What can a decision-making assistant do?

The decision-making assistant can only help with decisions that are included in your decision-making assistance agreement. This means they will be able to access relevant information and records for you if you have included this task in your agreement. This might involve getting records or information from your bank, utility, or healthcare provider.

Your decision-making assistant will have the legal authority to:

  • Help you gather relevant information and explain it to you
  • Help you understand and weigh up your options
  • Support you by letting other people know about the decision that has been made

Your decision-making assistant does not make a decision with or for you. They support you to make your own decisions.

You can get more information about the role and responsibilities of the decision-making assistant in the Code of Practice for the guidance of decision-making assistants.

Who can be a decision-making assistant?

Your decision-making assistant must be an adult (aged 18 years and over). You must know and trust the person you are choosing. You can have more than one decision-making assistant in any agreement, and you can have multiple agreements each dealing with different matters.

The person cannot be a decision-making assistant if they:

  • Have been convicted of an offence against you or your child
  • Are financially insolvent or have been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty (unless the agreement is about personal welfare decisions)
  • Are the owner or a registered provider of a designated care or mental health facility where you live or the employee of such a person (unless they are your relative)
  • Were removed from the role of a decision-making assistant for you

A decision-making assistant’s appointment may also end if:

  • The assistant is your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and your relationship ends
  • They become ineligible to be a decision-making assistant for one of the above reasons.

The role of the Decision Support Service

You must contact the Decision Support Service if you are making a decision-making assistant agreement. They will review it and provide you and your decision-making assistant with a certified copy of the agreement.

Your decision-making assistant does not have to send reports to the Decision Support Service unless they have requested reports.

If there is a complaint made about your decision-making assistant, the Decision Support Service may speak to you directly or can send somebody called a general or special visitor to talk to you and your decision-making assistant.

How to find out if someone is a decision-making assistant?

The Decision Support Service will be given a certified copy of the decision-making assistance agreement.

The Decision Support Service can verify that a valid decision-making agreement is in place.

How to make a decision-making assistance agreement

Your agreement must:

  • Be in writing
  • Include details of the decisions that your decision-making assistant will help you with
  • Include a statement by you to show you understand the agreement
  • Be signed by you and your decision-making assistant

Your decision-making assistant must confirm that they understand their duties and will carry them out.

The easiest way to make an agreement is through the MyDSS portal using your MyGovID. MyDSS is run by the Decision Support Service. You can read a step-by-step guide to using the portal.

Changing or ending your decision-making assistant agreement

You or your decision-making assistant can end the decision-making assistance agreement at any time. You do not have to replace it with another type of decision support arrangement. If you need more support for making decisions, you can appoint a co-decision-maker or a decision-making representative.

A decision-making assistance agreement can be changed at any time. Any changes to your decision-making assistance agreement must be agreed with your decision-making assistant.

How much does a decision-making agreement cost?

There will be a fee of €15 to make the agreement with the Decision Support Service or to make changes to the agreement.

Some people may not have to pay a fee, or will pay a lower fee. More details about fees will be available soon.

Further information

You can get further information from the Decision Support Service.

Decision Support Service

Waterloo Exchange,
Waterloo Road, Dublin 4
Eircode: D04 E5W7
Republic of Ireland

Tel: 01 2119750
Page edited: 25 April 2023