Becoming a deputy for a person with dementia

8. Limits to a deputy's powers

The authority and powers granted to a deputy should be as limited in extent and duration as is reasonably possible. There are specific restrictions on a deputy's powers. A deputy has no authority to:

  • restrain the person with dementia
  • make a decision for the person if they can make the decision themselves
  • go against a decision made under an existing power of attorney
  • refuse life-sustaining treatment for a person who lacks capacity to consent.

The court can cancel a deputy's appointment at any time if it decides the appointment is no longer in the best interests of the person with dementia who lacks capacity.

Every deputy order (the paper that states a deputy's powers) is different, and may contain further clauses and limits to specific powers. Examples include a limit on how much can be spent in a single transaction, or a cap on how much can be spent in a certain time period.