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We have experience litigating and resolving many kinds of disputes including administration and guardianship proceedings.

The State Administrative Tribunal may make administration and guardianship orders if a person has become incapable of looking after their own health and safety or is unable to make reasonable judgments (who is known as a “represented person”).

The Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 sets out the rules about administration and guardianship orders.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person who is appointed to make personal decisions for the represented person.

These decisions may include, for example, decisions about where and with whom the represented person is to live, whether the represented person should work, with whom the represented person is to associate and health and medical decisions for the represented person.

There are some decisions a guardian is not allowed to make. For example, a guardian cannot make a will or vote for the represented person.

What is an administrator?

An administrator is a person who is appointed to make financial and legal decisions for the represented person.

These decisions may include, for example, larger decisions about the sale of property or assets or investment of the represented person’s money, but also include daily decisions about management of money such as payment of bills and purchase of items required by the represented person.

An administrator must keep detailed accounts and receipts.

Who will be appointed guardian or administrator?

The guardian or administrator must consent to be appointed, and will be the person who the State Administrative Tribunal believes will act in the best interests of the represented person.

It is common for more than one person to request to be appointed the guardian or administrator. If this occurs, the State Administrative Tribunal will decide on the most appropriate person after considering all of the circumstances.

The State Administrative Tribunal will also consider the wishes of the represented person in determining the appropriate guardian or administrator.

A person may be appointed to be both the guardian and the administrator, or different people may be appointed to be the guardian and administrator.

What is the difference between a guardian and an administrator?

Guardianship and administration orders give different decision-making powers. Guardianship relates to personal and medical decisions, whereas administration relates to financial decisions.

Different applications and considerations apply to guardianship and administration orders, and it may not always be necessary to apply for both a guardianship and an administration order.

How is an application made?

An application may be made by filing a form in the State Administrative Tribunal.

Usually, evidence from a medical professional is required to be filed in order to establish that the represented person is unable to make reasonable judgments.

The application must be served on, and explained to (as best as possible), the represented person.

Once the application is lodged, it will be provided to the applicant and any other interested person, and all parties are likely to be invited to attend a hearing. The hearing is usually listed about 8 weeks after the application is lodged, unless the application is urgent.

When is an application required?

Guardianship and administration orders may not be necessary if the represented person executed a power of attorney or power of guardianship before becoming incapable, or if the person has a next of kin nominated for medical decisions.

If you are unsure about whether you need to make an application for a guardianship or administration order, or would like further information specific to your circumstances, please contact us.