Nearest relative

Explains what a nearest relative is, including what powers and rights they have and how you can change your nearest relative. Applies to England and Wales.

Overview

If you have a mental health problem, your nearest relative will have certain powers and rights related to your care and treatment.

Quick facts

  • The Mental Health Act has a list of who will be your nearest relative. The list is in strict order and the person who is highest on the list is your nearest relative. 

Please note

  • This guide only covers nearest relative from the point of view of a person with a mental health problem.
  • This guide applies to England and Wales.
  • This guide contains general legal information, not legal advice. We recommend you get advice from a specialist legal adviser or solicitor who will help you with your specific situation and needs. See Useful contacts for more information.
  • The legal information in this guide does not apply to children unless specifically stated.

 


This information was published in January 2017. We will revise it in 2019.


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