When an individual does not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and who has lost their mental capacities due to illness or accidents, the High Court may take them under its protection so that their affairs and other matters affecting them can be handled for their benefit. In the case of someone being made a Ward of Court, their assets come under the protection of the High Court, and any decisions pertaining to their finances must be made through the High Court, which must approve any decisions pertaining to their financial affairs or personal welfare. A Ward's assets are usually cashed and deposited with the Wards of Court Office in Dublin, which invests the funds for the benefit of its members.
Wards of Court are usually chosen by a family member; it doesn't have to be a direct relative; the family member instructs a solicitor who is experienced in the area to represent them during the application process. An individual who is being made a Ward of Court must complete a Petition, which provides full details of their assets, liabilities, and direct relatives.
The completed document is then filed at the Wards of Court office along with two affidavits from two doctors stating that the person does not have the mental capacity to manage their affairs. As soon as the Wards of Court Office receives those documents, they will arrange for an independent medical practitioner to examine the proposed Ward. Once the medical practitioner's report is available, and assuming the recommendation is that the person should be taken into Wardship, the application will be listed for hearing in the High Court.
Following the hearing and the appropriate orders being issued, the individual is declared a Ward of Court and must be dealt with through the Wards of Court Office from that point on. In the Ward of Court process, the person or persons applying for the status are known as "the Committee". A Wards of Court Committee can participate in ongoing dialogues with the Wards of Court Office about the Wards' affairs if they so choose.