Before you apply – Guardians and administrators
Appoint a guardian or administrator, a supportive guardian or supportive administrator, reassess or cancel these appointments.
Find out if you're in the right place
What we can help with
- Appoint a guardian or administrator
- Appoint a supportive guardian or supportive administrator
- Reassess or cancel the appointment of a guardian or administrator
- Have an interstate appointment of a guardian or administrator (or equivalent) recognised in Victoria
What’s a guardian?
A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions for a person with disability who is unable to do this for themselves, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment, and access to people and services.
What’s an administrator?
An administrator makes financial and property decisions for a person with disability who is unable to do this for themselves, including decisions about buying or selling property, banking, investing, paying bills and managing debts.
- Consent to a special medical procedure for a person with a disability who is incapable of giving their own consent
- Establish whether someone has a guardian
- Appoint an administrator for a missing person
- Apply for a rehearing
- Seek compensation for a guardian or administrator's wrongdoing
- Ask for advice about guardians or administrators
What we can't help with
- Some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation
- Cases heard under federal law instead of Victorian law
- Make new powers of attorney
- Make new supportive powers of attorney
Contact the Office of the Public Advocate
Can’t see what you’re looking for?
- Decisions about existing enduring powers of attorney or supportive attorney appointments – see Powers of Attorney
- Apply about a medical treatment decision – see Medical Treatment and Advance Care Directives
- Review decisions made by the Mental Health Tribunal – see Mental Health
- Orders about treatment for people with an intellectual disability – see Disability Act
- Review decisions about access to medication to end the life of a person with a terminal illness – see Voluntary assisted dying
- Review decisions about the collection of your health information, decisions by the Patient Review Panel or Chief Medical Officer – see Privacy and health records
Urgent applications and temporary orders
We can make an urgent order that covers a short time period if there’s an immediate risk of harm to someone’s health, welfare or property. If you are seriously concerned about someone who is, or may need to be, represented:
Contact the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) at any time on 1300 309 337 for advice about obtaining an urgent order.
If you decide based on the OPA's information you need an urgent order, you must apply to VCAT.
If you apply outside of business hours, the OPA contacts us about your request for an urgent hearing. You must still submit a VCAT application at your earliest opportunity.
We’ll review the order at a hearing as soon as possible.
Before you apply
Understand the difference between guardians, administrators, and powers of attorney
A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions for a person whose decision-making capacity is affected because they have a disability. A guardian can’t make decisions about money.
An administrator makes financial and property decisions for a person whose decision-making capacity has been affected because of a disability. An administrator can’t make personal or lifestyle decisions, unless they are also the person’s guardian.
Supportive guardians and supportive administrators
A supportive guardian or supportive administrator helps an adult with disability who can make their own decisions. Supportive guardians and supportive administrators help with different types of decisions.
Powers of attorney
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to appoint someone else to make decisions about their personal or financial affairs. A supportive attorney supports the right of people with disability to make their own decisions about things that affect them.
Case 1: Having a disability
Six months ago, Andrew had a stroke. He struggles to understand others and make decisions. He can’t move around or look after himself.
Andrew now has a disability. He needs care all the time. His doctors say he needs to stay in aged care. He wants to go home, but the doctors and his family think this will not be possible for him. Andrew is not able to make this decision for himself.
His family worry he will be sent away. There aren’t many aged care options where they live.
If a person can’t make decisions for themselves, you can apply to become their guardian, administrator or both.
Case 2: An immediate financial issue
Your father has dementia and is no longer able to do his own banking. His bank won’t give you details of his account. You can apply to VCAT for an administration order to do his banking for him.
Case 3: Support to come to VCAT
You’re a social worker and one of your clients needs to come to VCAT for a hearing. You’re worried that they may not cope and will need support in the hearing. You can contact VCAT by email or phone to get practical support on the day (for example, accessibility information, a hearing loop or interpreter). You can also arrange for them to attend by phone if it is too difficult for them to travel.
Help and support
How can I get help with my application?
We can help you understand what the form is asking. If you need to help to fill in the VCAT application form, talk to us.
- Call us on 1300 018 228 (1300 01 VCAT), Monday - Friday 9am - 4.30pm. For guardianship cases call us 9am - 5pm.
- If you’re overseas, call us on +61 3 8685 1462.
- If you need to speak to someone in your own language you can ask for an interpreter. Call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.
- ask you questions about what you want
- explain what the questions mean
- explain what documents you need
- explain the process.
We can’t give you legal advice. This means we can’t:
- tell you what to write
- give you advice on how to present your case
- give you advice on how to win the case.
If you do choose to get legal advice, you’ll need to pay their fees (if any).
If you want to talk about what you should do, you can access free or low-cost legal advice or find a private lawyer.
How private is a case about guardians, administrators, supportive roles or powers of attorney?
All information you give us for your case is available to anyone who looks at the case file or attends the hearing, including media.
They might get information like your name, contact details and personal information.
By law, with some limited exceptions, we must share information that you give us for your case with other parties. This includes your documents and evidence.
But it’s illegal to publish or broadcast information that could identify a party in a guardianship, powers of attorney or medical treatment case, unless we make an exception.
You can ask us at the start of the case to keep your information confidential. We may not agree to this request.
How do I get an interpreter?
If you need an interpreter, contact us to arrange a professional interpreter (at no cost to you) before the hearing.
Make sure you ask for an interpreter as early as you can.
We connect with a large network of interpreters in 160 languages. Tell us in English what your language is when you ask for an interpreter. It’s best to ask when you apply to VCAT or as soon as possible after we’ve sent you your hearing date.
We don’t allow a relative or friend to interpret for you at a hearing.
What support is there for people with disability?
Most of our hearing locations are accessible. Contact us for accessibility information about a venue.
We can also organise support for people with disability at VCAT.
- We can arrange an assistive listening device or hearing loop for your hearing, compulsory conference or mediation. Contact us so we can have these facilities ready for you.
- You can also ask to attend VCAT by telephone.
Our disability liaison officers can support you to access our services and venues.
Ask for a disability liaison officer to help:
- Email us at email@example.com
- Call us on 1300 01 8228.
How does VCAT support Aboriginal people?
We offer support to ensure VCAT is culturally safe and inclusive for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We can help you with:
- booking a Koori hearing room
- organising a Koori Engagement Officer to attend your hearing or mediation with you
- general information and advice about VCAT processes.
Call our Koori Helpline to speak to a Koori Engagement Officer on 0417 516 335, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm.
Read more about Koori support at VCAT
How do I get family violence support?
If you’re affected by family violence, we have a family violence support worker who can support you. They will work with you to make sure you are safe at the hearing and have access to justice.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the VCAT family violence support worker on 03 9628 9856 during business hours.