Guardianship and Administration

What can be done to assist people who are unable to care properly for themselves?

Who looks after people who do not have the mental capacity to manage their own lives? Is there a way to protect people from being taken advantage of when they cannot look after themselves?

Guardianship gives someone the legal authority to make decisions for another person who does not have the capacity to do so for themselves.

An Administrator is someone appointed to manage the financial affairs of a person with impaired decision-making capacity.
To make an application to become or appoint a Guardian and/or Administrator an interested person must apply to the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“QCAT”). When appointing a Guardian and/or Administrator QCAT must be satisfied that:

  • The person requiring a Guardian/Administrator has impaired capacity;
  • There is a need for decisions to be made for him/her; and
  • A decision maker is required to ensure that their needs are met, and their interests are protected.

Who can act as a Guardian?

A Guardian can be a family member, a friend, or any other person with a genuine and continuing interest in the welfare of an adult with impaired decision-making capacity. The person appointed as Guardian must not be a paid carer.

In circumstances where no appropriate Guardian can be found the Adult Guardian may be appointed. The Adult Guardian is a public servant whose role is to protect the rights and interests of adults who do not have the capacity to make their own decisions due to illness or disability.

It is important to note that the Adult Guardian is a last resort and will only be appointed if there is no-one else more appropriate.

A Guardian can decide for an adult:

  • Where they live;
  • The support services they receive;
  • Persons with whom they have contact or visit;
  • General health care matters; and
  • Matters of security and safety to prevent potential harm.

However, a Guardian cannot make decisions with regards to the financial or property matters of the adult unless they are also appointed as the adult’s Administrator.

Sunshine Coast Elder Law are experts in advising how best to provide security for persons who have reduced capacity to look after themselves. Guardianship and Administration are often used in the context of Elder Abuse, where an elderly person cannot properly make their own decisions, and are being taken advantage of by someone they should be able to trust.

Find out more

Want further advice on Guardianship and Administration? Don’t hesitate to contact us, either by calling or completing an enquiry form.