How we make decisions – Guardians and administrators

Find out how VCAT makes decisions in cases about guardians and administrators.

Wherever it’s possible, we promote supporting people to make decisions for themselves rather than having decisions made for them.

If this isn’t possible because a person doesn’t have decision making ability, we make decisions that focus on protecting or fulfilling the needs of the person.

What we consider

Decisions about guardians and administrators

When we decide if a person needs a guardian or an administrator, we must take into account:

  • what’s important to the person, as far as this can be established
  • whether the decisions could be made in a less formal way, or by an approach like negotiation or mediation
  • the wishes of any primary carer, relative or other closely connected person
  • relationships that are important to the person.

What VCAT must consider is outlined in section 31 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019.

Decisions about supportive guardians and supportive administrators

When making a decision about a support role, VCAT must consider whether the person with a disability:

  • consents to the appointment
  • can make decisions with practical and appropriate support
  • would benefit in their personal and social wellbeing.

What VCAT must consider is outlined in section 87 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2019.

Other things we may do

More medical information

Sometimes we contact a medical practitioner directly to get a medical report about a person who may need a guardian, administrator, supportive guardian or supportive administrator appointed.

We may ask for more medical information about a person’s disability if it isn’t clear or if we don’t have enough information. 

Private conversations

Sometimes the VCAT member will arrange to speak privately with the person who has, or needs, a substitute decision-maker or supportive decision-maker.

It is their rights that will be affected by VCAT’s orders. What they want (their views, their wishes or will and preferences) is central to the decision we make.

The VCAT member will make sure that the conversation is fair and encourage the person to say what’s important to them. It might be easier for them to talk without everyone else there.

The information we need to make a decision

We need to know what’s important to the person the decision is being made about. This information will help us make the best decision for their situation.

Information we need You may want to think about
What is important about where the person lives?
  • Where would they like to live?
  • Where would they like to live, if they move one day?
What is important to them for daily living?
  • Do they need food delivered?
  • Do they use a house cleaner?
  • What other services do they use?
What is important about their relationships?
  • Who are the most important people in their life?
  • Do they have close friends or family who support them?
  • Is there anyone they don’t want to see?
What is important to them about your medical treatment?
  • Is there someone who helps them get medical care?
  • Where do they like to go for medical care?
  • What do they think about prescription medicine?
What is important about their major assets and debts?
  • Do they own a house or a car?
  • Do they have debt to the bank or credit cards?
  • Do they have any financial goals or plans?
What is important about their income and expenses?
  • What they want to spend their money on?
  • How much they like to save?
What is important for any court cases or legal problems?
  • Do they have any court cases coming up?
  • What are they about?
  • What do they want to happen?
  • Do they have other legal problems?
What else is important to them?
  • Do they have a pet that they care for?
  • What activities or hobbies do they enjoy?
  • Do they have any cultural traditions or practices?
  • Do they take part in any religious or spiritual activities?
  • Is there any information they don’t want to be shared?

Related pages

Types of guardianship and administration orders

We can make different types of orders about guardians and administrators, including urgent orders.

When there's a VCAT application about you

Find out what this means, how you're involved and what happens next.

Other things we can do

We can help resolve issues or give you advice about existing guardianship, administration, supportive guardianship or supportive administration arrangements.