Appoint a guardian or administrator for an adult with disability
Most adults with disability can make their own decisions about how they choose to live and manage their own affairs.
In some situations, an adult's disability affects their decision-making capacity. VCAT can legally appoint someone to make decisions for that person.
If you know an adult with a disability that affects their decision-making capacity, you can apply to have VCAT appoint a guardian or administrator for that person.
VCAT may appoint a guardian to make lifestyle decisions for someone, including health care, employment and living arrangements. We can also appoint an administrator to make decisions about financial and property affairs for someone.
Who can qualify to have a guardian or administrator?
A person must be at least 18 years old to be represented by a guardian or administrator.
They must also have a disability that affects their decision-making capacity in one of the following ways:
- They are unable to understand and remember information relevant to making a decision.
- They cannot use or communicate that information to make a decision.
- They cannot express their views or needs.
The cause of the disability may be a neurological impairment, intellectual impairment, mental disorder, brain injury, physical disability or dementia.
Before you apply
If you nominate someone other than yourself as a guardian or administrator, 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.
For more information about what it takes, see responsibilities of guardians and administrators.
You can choose to have VCAT decide who should be the guardian or administrator.
Provide a medical report as part of your application
When you apply, you must provide VCAT with a copy of a recent and relevant medical report.
We require a medical report to help establish the disability, inability to make reasoned decisions and need for a guardian and/or administrator.
You must provide a full medical report from the last three months, not a medical certificate.
Examples of suitable medical practitioners include doctors, psychologists, neuro-psychologists and psychiatrists.
Download a medical report template and give this to a medical practitioner to complete.
There are no application or hearing fees.
How to apply
Apply online to save your progress and keep track of your application.
Alternatively, download our PDF form (500 kB).
Other applications you can make
If someone is already represented by a guardian or administrator, you can suggest someone else in case another guardian or administrator is needed in the future. Find out how to lodge a statement of wishes to guide the future appointment of a guardian or administrator.
If an adult with disability has decision-making capacity but needs support carrying out their decisions, you can instead apply to have VCAT appoint a supportive guardian or supportive administrator.
We can also appoint an administrator for a missing person.
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.
Find legal services that may be able to assist you.
Need help with your application?
We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.
We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.
Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your situation.
Access and privacy
All information you give VCAT for your case is available to anyone who inspects the case file or attends the hearing, including media. They might get information like your name, contact details and personal information.
By law, with limited exceptions, VCAT must share information that you provide for your case with other parties. This includes your documents and evidence. But it is illegal to publish or broadcast information that could identify a party in a guardianship, powers of attorney or medical treatment case, unless VCAT makes an exception.
You can ask VCAT at the start of the case to keep your information confidential. VCAT may not agree to this request.