Guardianship & Administration

Being appointed a guardian and/or administrator can help to protect your brother or sister with disability’s best interests, but it should always be a last resort.

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If a person loses the capacity to make their own decisions and is at risk, and if supported decision- making is not working, then it might be time to consider guardianship/administration. It’s always preferable for a person to be able to make their own decisions, so guardianship/administration is a last resort.

If the person has not appointed an enduring power of attorney, or the enduring attorney that is in place is deficient or inappropriate, a relevant authority can appoint a guardian and/or administrator. 

A guardian can make personal and lifestyle decisions for a person with disability for things like services they need, where they live and who can have access to them. A guardian has no authority to make financial decisions for the person – that’s the role of an administrator.

An administrator can make financial and legal decisions for things like when to buy or sell property or make bank transactions. An administrator cannot make decisions about a person’s personal life or lifestyle or make medical decisions for them.

If appropriate, you can be appointed a guardian for your brother or sister, or an administrator, or both. It can help you to protect their best interests, if they are at risk, and make sure they are living their best life.

What is an enduring power of attorney?

An enduring power of attorney is a trusted person someone legally appoints to make decisions on their behalf in case they lose the ability to make their own decisions.

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Video series about supported decision-making, guardianship and administration

 

The South Australian Office of the Public Advocate has created a five-part video series on supported decision-making, guardianship and administration. It is relevant to people all around Australia! The first two episodes are especially relevant to guardianship and administration.

Watch the series.

What you can do

Understand and facilitate supported decision-making for a person with disability

Every person has the right to make their own decisions, but sometimes, we need support. When someone needs help to make decisions, it’s called supported decision-making. And is based on making decisions with someone not for them.

Support with decision-making can come from family, friends, and other peers. Support can also come from service providers or other people, such as advocates. Supported decision making looks different for each person.

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Easy Read & video

The Council for Intellectual Disability has created information about supported decision-making for people with intellectual disability. It’s called ‘I can make decisions’ and includes a downloadable two-page Easy Read document in pdf format, and a three-minute video.

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Guide to NDIS decision-making

The Victorian Office
for the Public Advocate’s ‘Guide to NDIS decision-making’ and explores when a decision can be made by, with or for an adult with significant cognitive disability.

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Lived experience video

Check out this NDIS
video where Luke from Inclusion Australia talks about supported decision-making
for people with disability.

Establish a Circle of Support for a person with disability

It is important to remember that there are alternatives to seeking formal legal orders (which might include guardianship and administration), such as establishing a Circle of Support to support you and your brother or sister with decision making.

A Circle of Support involves a group of people in your brother or sister’s life, who they know and trust, coming together to support formulating, promoting and achieving the goals of a person with disability. The circle acts as a community to support and provide practical advice, solve problems and generate creative ideas to contribute positively to a person’s life.

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Blog

A Circle of Support for a person with disability can be whatever you make of them.

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Microboards

 

A Microboard is a similar concept to a Circle of Support but is legally incorporated to become a not-for-profit organisation that supports just one person. A Circle of Support often progresses to become a formalised Microboard.

Complete our personal profiles for future sibling planning

To ensure you can support your brother or sister to make important life decisions that are right for them, it’s important that you first ensure you understand what they want, what is important to them, and how they see themselves living their life for the foreseeable future.

That’s why we’ve created two helpful personal profile documents – a personal profile for your brother or sister, and a personal profile for you. Completing these profiles will help you to gain clarity on their wants and needs, keep track of relevant information and decisions, and enable you to reflect and plan ahead. It’s something you can do with your brother or sister, and you might even find it fun!

A Circle of Support involves a group of people in your brother or sister’s life, who they know and trust, coming together to support formulating, promoting and achieving the goals of a person with disability. The circle acts as a community to support and provide practical advice, solve problems and generate creative ideas to contribute positively to a person’s life.

If you believe that guardianship/administration is the best option, identify the relevant authority

The relevant authority for granting guardianship or administration orders differs from state to state. If you believe that guardianship/administration is the best option for your brother or sister, first identify the relevant authority for the state they live in.
Hover over your state on the map to see the relevant authority