If someone is temporarily unable to manage their own affairs, or it is only necessary to take short-term control of their affairs, it may be appropriate to apply for an intervention order. An intervention order is appropriate if the power sought is temporary or deals with only a single matter, unlike a guardianship order which deals with matters on an ongoing basis.
A person unable to manage their own affairs is said to be "incapable". This most often arises as a result of illness, accident or old age.
What is an intervention order?
An intervention order is an order by the court that a certain person has the power to make a certain decision or take a certain action on behalf of another person, if that person is unable to do it for themselves. This could be signing legal documents, selling the person's house or deciding where a person should live.
If a person is unable to make a certain decision, and there is no power of attorney or guardianship order in place, then an intervention order gives another person the power to do it for them. In some circumstances, a court order is the only way to do it. You cannot, for example, sell another person's house without the relevant legal authority.
How long does an intervention order last?
An intervention order only lasts for as long as it takes to make the decision to which the order relates. So, in the example of a house sale, the intervention order would end as soon as the sale was completed.
Anyone can apply for an intervention order, although most often it is the next of kin or primary carer who applies.