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People with decision-making disabilities often depend on family, friends and service providers to support them in a number of areas of their lives. Usually these informal networks can help the person manage their financial affairs.

In cases where a person does not have a close support network, or the people providing the support require formal authority to make financial transactions, it may be necessary for an administrator to be appointed.

The appointment of an administrator is governed by the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990. The administrator's role is to ensure that financial and legal decisions are made in the best interests of the represented person. An application for the appointment of an administrator should be made to the State Administrative Tribunal when the need for formal financial and legal assistance is required.

The Tribunal will hold a hearing and make a decision on whether to appoint an administrator, and if so, what authority that person will have. The appointment of an administrator is viewed as a last resort because it removes a person's right to make decisions for themselves.

Tribunal hearings will also consider whether there are any less restrictive alternatives to assist the person to manage their finances, which would eliminate the need to appoint an administrator. In most cases, family members, friends or neighbours are appointed as administrators.

Role of the Public Trustee

Private administrators can get advice and support from the Private Administrator Support Team at the Public Trustee. A Private Administrators' Guide helps people to understand and carry out their duties as administrators.

In situations where there is no-one willing, suitable and available to take on the role of administrator, the Tribunal may appoint the Public Trustee.

Last updated: 16-Nov-2020

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