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Nearest relative

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

What rights does my nearest relative have?

Under the Mental Health Act, your nearest relative can:

  • apply to section you or place you under a guardianship
  • object to you being sectioned or placed under a guardianship
  • discharge you if you are sectioned and apply to the Mental Health Tribunal if this is refused
  • ask for an independent advocate to give you support
  • be consulted and/or given information about you if you are sectioned
  • appoint someone else to be your nearest relative.

For more information see our pages on sectioning and guardianships, independent advocacy, information about me and changing my nearest relative.

The UK Government is changing the Mental Health Act.

View this legal guide as a PDF (opens new window)

This information was published in November 2020.

This page is currently under review. All content was accurate when published. 

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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