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Q: What is guardianship?

A: Guardianship involves one person (called a guardian) making decisions on behalf of another person about personal matters such as health care or accommodation. 

AGAC Member Boards and Tribunals have power under State or Territory legislation to make guardianship orders.  This means they can appoint a person as guardian for a person with a disability whose capacity to make decisions is impaired and who needs a guardian to make decisions for them.

Guardians may be family members or friends of the person with a disability or they may be AGAC Member Public and Community Advocates or Public and Adult Guardians or their equivalents.

A person may not need a guardian if, for instance, the person has made an enduring power of guardianship.  Check the legislation in your State or Territory to see whether you can make an enduring power of guardianship.

Q: What is administration?

A: Administration, or financial management, involves one person (called an administrator or financial manager) managing another person’s financial and legal affairs or making specific decisions in relation to them. 

AGAC Member Boards and Tribunals have power under State or Territory legislation to make administration orders.  This means they can appoint a person as administrator or financial manager for a person with a disability whose capacity is impaired and who needs an administrator or financial manager to make decisions for them.

Administrators may be family members or friends of the person with a disability or they may be professional persons, professional organisations or AGAC Member Public and State Trustees.

A person may not need an administrator or financial manager if the person has made an enduring power of attorney.  Check the legislation in your State or Territory to see whether you can make an enduring power of attorney.

Q: Are guardianship and administration orders recognised throughout Australia?

A: A guardianship or administration order made in one State or Territory is generally recognised, or able to be registered, in another State or Territory. 

Check the website of the Board or Tribunal in your State or Territory for further information or contact the Board or Tribunal in that jurisdiction.

Q: What is an enduring power?

A: State and Territory legislation enables a competent adult to appoint another person to make decisions and take action for them.

An enduring power generally continues after the person who made the enduring power loses capacity to make decisions.

In some States and Territories the law permits not only the making of an enduring power of attorney (for financial management), but also an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment) and an enduring power of guardianship. Medical enduring powers of attorney empower an agent to make decisions about medical treatment.  Enduring powers of guardianship empower an enduring guardian to make specified decisions about personal matters such as accommodation. 

Boards and Tribunals can make orders about enduring powers, including revoking them if that is in the best interests of the person with a disability.

Check the legislation in your State or Territory to see whether you can make one or more enduring powers.

Information about how to make an enduring power, including the forms required, is available from the websites of most AGAC member organisations.

Q: Are enduring powers recognised throughout Australia?

A: Depending on why type of enduring power is involved, the law of some States and Territories recognises interstate enduring powers that are made in under the law of the State or Territory where they were made.

Check the legislation in your State or Territory to see whether an interstate enduring power can be recognised.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2008 22:43