Appoint an administrator for a missing person
You can apply to have an administrator appointed who can make financial and property decisions for a missing person.
We can appoint an administrator for a missing person when we are satisfied that:
- it is not known whether the person is alive
- reasonable efforts have been made to find the person
- the person has not contacted anyone who lives at their last known home address, or any relative or friend, for at least 90 days
- the missing person is over 18 years of age
- the missing person usually lives in Victoria
- while they are missing there is, or is likely to be, a need for a decision about their finances or property
- our order would promote the missing person’s personal and social wellbeing while missing.
What we can do
- We can appoint an administrator to manage the financial and property affairs of a missing person.
- We can renew the appointment of an administrator for a missing person.
What we cannot do
We cannot hear cases where an application or order has been made in the Supreme Court to authorise a trustee company to act under section 24A of the Administration and Probate Act 1958.
Before you apply
If you nominate someone other than yourself or State Trustees Limited to be the administrator, you must discuss your application with them before you apply to VCAT. You must ensure the proposed administrator is willing and able to take on the responsibilities of the role.
For more information about what it takes, see roles and responsibilities of administrators.
You must provide the details of any known power of attorney. In certain circumstances the attorney can administer the missing person's affairs. You should seek independent legal advice about whether this is appropriate. If there is more than one known attorney, you should provide VCAT with all the contact details that you have.
Documents you need to apply
- A copy of a police report
- Evidence that the person usually lives in Victoria.
- Evidence that there is a need, while the person is missing, for a decision to be made with regard to financial matters or property.
- Evidence to support that it is in the best interests of the missing person, for a person to be appointed while they are missing.
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 (391 kB).
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.
Tell us if something changes
An administrator for a missing person must notify VCAT in writing immediately if they become aware the missing person is alive (either in Victoria or elsewhere) or the missing person has died.
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.
Duration of an administrator’s role
We make administration orders about a missing person's estate for a period of up to two years. An administrator may apply to VCAT to renew the order once for a further period up to two years. If an administration order for a missing person has expired, anyone can apply for a new order.
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.