You can apply to help someone who ‘lacks mental capacity’ - they can’t make a decision at the time it needs to be made because of a mental impairment. They may still be able to make other decisions or make decisions with your help.

People may lack mental capacity because, for example:

  • they’ve had a serious brain injury or illness
  • they have dementia
  • they have severe learning disabilities

There are ways to help someone with a specific decision or in the long term.

Help with a specific decision

Ask the Court of Protection to make a one-off decision about:

  • emergency medical treatment for someone
  • non-urgent issues regarding someone’s care, eg where they should live or the sale of property

You must consider any ‘advance decision’ that the person has made to refuse certain medical treatment.

Long-term help

You can help someone with their financial affairs or their personal welfare on a long-term basis if you:

Check if someone already has an attorney or deputy acting for them before you apply.