The difference between Guardians and Administrators, and how to apply

There may be circumstances where a person with reduced decision-making capacity needs support to make personal or financial decisions. A guardian or administrator may be appointed to assist in such circumstances where there is no enduring Power of Attorney (POA) in place.

Difference between guardian and administrators

Guardians are appointed to make personal lifestyle decisions for someone with reduced decision-making capacity Administrators are authorised to make financial and property-related decisions.

A person can be appointed to be both a guardian and an administrator if required.

VCAT may only appoint a person to act as guardian and/or administrator if there is no enduring power of attorney in place or if the enduring POA is not appropriate.

What constitutes reduced decision-making capacity?   

The Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 recognises the following disabilities or illnesses which affect a person’s decision-making capacity:

  • Dementia
  • Physical disability
  • Brain injury
  • Mental disorder
  • Intellectual Impairment
  • Neurological impairment

What is the application process?

Appointment to be a guardian or administrator can be made through the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) by completing their online form.

Once the application is completed, VCAT will reach out to the applicant within two weeks to:

  • Explain the process,
  • Discuss the risks and needs of the person requiring support, and
  • Provide a hearing date

A notice will be forwarded that details what is required for the hearing. The applicant should then take the necessary steps to prepare for the hearing.

After the hearing, an order will be provided which will detail the decision and reasons for the decision.

If the outcome is unsatisfactory, the applicant may request VCAT for rehearing to cancel the order or change conditions in the order. A rehearing may only be granted if it’s requested within four weeks from the date of the outcome.

Documents to provide

Applicants will need to provide VCAT a copy of the most recent medical report of the person requiring the support of a guardian and/or administrator.

The report helps VCAT establish the capacity of the person requiring support and the need for support.

What happens after an order is granted?

Within a year of order being made, VCAT will organise a reassessment hearing to determine if a guardian and/or administrator is still required.

Following that, VCAT will then require subsequent reassessment hearings every three years after the initial reassessment hearing.

It ensures that the person requiring a guardian or administrator is not taken advantage of and is cared for appropriately.

How can W Legal help?

Our team of experts can guide you through an application for guardianship or administrator with VCAT. Contact our team via email or call us to speak to our friendly legal team.

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