​​Appoint a guardian or administrator for an adult with a disability

VCAT can appoint a guardian A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a disability, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services. or administrator An administrator is a person appointed by VCAT to make decisions on behalf of an adult with a disability who is unable to make reasonable judgements in respect of matters relating to all or any part of her or his estate by reason of the disability. for an adult who, because of a disability, is unable to make their own reasoned decisions.

The cause of the disability may be dementia, intellectual disability, mental illness or an acquired brain injury.

Cases VCAT can hear

VCAT can hear applications to appoint:

  • a guardian A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a disability, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services. for an adult with a disability
  • an administrator An administrator is a person appointed by VCAT to make decisions on behalf of an adult with a disability who is unable to make reasonable judgements in respect of matters relating to all or any part of her or his estate by reason of the disability. for an adult with a disability.

Cases VCAT cannot hear

VCAT cannot hear applications to appoint guardians or administrators for people under 18 years of age.

Before you apply

If you nominate someone other than yourself as a guardian A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a disability, including decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services. or administrator An administrator is a person appointed by VCAT to make decisions on behalf of an adult with a disability who is unable to make reasonable judgements in respect of matters relating to all or any part of her or his estate by reason of the disability. , discuss your nomination with them before you apply to VCAT. You must ensure the proposed guardian or administrator is willing and able to undertake the responsibilities of the role. You also must seek a medical report that establishes the disability and that it affects the person's capacity to make their own reasonable decisions.

Role and responsibilities of guardians and administrators

Guardians and administrators have unique roles and responsibilities. If both roles are appointed, the guardian and administrator must consult each other and work closely when making decisions.

The role of a guardian

A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a disability, including decisions about their:

  • living arrangements
  • work arrangements
  • medical treatment
  • access to people and services.

The responsibilities of a guardian

A guardian must:

  • act as an advocate for the represented person
  • act in the best interests of the represented person
  • take the represented person’s wishes into account when making decisions
  • encourage the represented person, as far as possible, to make decisions and act for themselves
  • protect the person from neglect, abuse or exploitation.

A guardian may be a friend or relative of the person with a disability. If there is no suitable person, we can appoint the Public Advocate as a guardian.

Safeguards for represented people and guardians

VCAT can reassess a guardianship order if it is not working in the best interests of the represented person.

The role of an administrator

An administrator makes financial and legal decisions on behalf of a person with a disability, including decisions about:

  • buying or selling property
  • banking and investing
  • paying bills and managing debts

An administrator may be a friend or relative of the person with a disability, or a solicitor, accountant or an organisation. If there is no suitable person or organisation, State Trustees Limited or a private trustee company may be appointed as an administrator.

The responsibilities of an administrator

An administrator must:

  • act in the best interests of the represented person
  • take the represented person’s wishes into account when making decisions
  • encourage the represented person, as far as possible, to make decisions and act for themselves.

Administrator reporting requirements

An administrator is accountable for the decisions they make and must provide annual accounts to VCAT. Learn more about reporting requirements in General advice for administrators.