An administrator manages the financial and legal affairs of an adult who is unable to make financial or legal decisions because of their disability.
We can appoint an administrator for a person who lives in Victoria, or who has property in Victoria.
What it means to be an administrator
An administrator makes financial and legal decisions for a person with disability who does not have the capacity to make these decisions for themselves. This includes decisions about:
- managing property
- paying bills
- buying things they want or need.
When we appoint an administrator, we may also give them other powers. This can include the power to:
- collect income and other money owed to the person they represent
- invest their money
- lease or sell their property
- run their business
- sign contracts on their behalf
- pay financial support for their children or other dependents.
An administrator may be a:
- friend or relative of the person with disability
If there’s no suitable person, we may appoint State Trustees Limited or a private trustee company.
All the powers of an administrator are outlined in sections 46, 51 and 52 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019
The administration order says what powers the administrator has and whether their powers are limited. For example, an administrator may need our permission to take legal action or sell property for the person.
As an administrator you’re accountable for the decisions you make and you must submit accounts every year to VCAT.
Duties of an administrator
As an administrator for a represented person, you must:
- follow the principles outlined on this page
- be an advocate for the person
- encourage and assist them to develop their capacity to make financial and legal decisions
- protect them from neglect, abuse or exploitation.
An administrator must also:
- act honestly, diligently and in good faith
- use reasonable skill and care
- not use the position for profit
- avoid taking action if there is, or may be, a conflict of interest
- not share confidential information gained as an administrator, unless allowed by the administration order or by law.
The duties of an administrator are outlined in section 55 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019
Come to an information session
We run regular, free information sessions throughout the year at VCAT. If you’re a new guardian or administrator, come and ask questions about your responsibilities, what to do when things change and more.
You must follow these principles when making decisions and acting as administrator:
- You need to find out the ‘will and preferences’ of the person – that is, what’s important to them.
- What’s important to the person must guide the decisions made for them, as far as practical.
If necessary, you must support the person, as far as practical in the circumstances, to:
- make and take part in decisions affecting them
- express what’s important to them
- develop their capacity to make decisions.
You must act in the way that least restricts the person’s ability to make and act on their own decisions, given the situation.
The general principles are outlined in section 8 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019
Decisions you make for the represented person must follow these guiding principles:
- You must try to make decisions based on what’s important to them, as far as practical and appropriate.
- If the person cannot tell you what’s important to them, you must try to work this out. You need to use all available information to make the best decision you can in the situation. This includes asking their relatives, close friends and carers.
- If you cannot work out what’s important to them, you must act in a way that promotes their personal and social wellbeing.
- If the person has a companion animal, you need to act in a way that recognises how important the animal is to them and any benefits the animal gives them.
- You can only disregard what’s important to the person if it is necessary to protect them from serious harm.
These guiding principles are outlined in section 9 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019
When something’s not working
We can reassess a guardianship or administration order if it is no longer working for the people involved.
Make an application
Find out what you need to do to make an application and how long it takes.
When there's a VCAT application about you
Find out what this means, how you’re involved, and what happens next.
How we make decisions
Find out how VCAT makes decisions in a case about guardians and administrators.
Account by Administrators (ABA)
Find out about what an administrator must submit each year to VCAT.