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Guardianship and administrators

If you are no longer able to manage your own affairs, you may have to appoint someone to make decisions for you. You can arrange to give someone power of attorney over your affairs.

If you have not formally appointed someone to manage your affairs (under a power of attorney) and it becomes necessary to do so, a guardianship board or tribunal can appoint a guardian and/or administrator on your behalf.

  • A guardian (who could be a family member or friend), is a substitute decision maker who may make lifestyle decisions, such as where a person should live, as well as give their consent to medical, dental and health care services generally.
  • An administrator acts as a financial manager and looks after a person's property and finances.

There are several factors that the guardianship board or tribunal will take into account before making a decision to appoint a guardian or administrator, including:

  • your ability to manage your own affairs
  • any relevant medical or health conditions that might affect your ability to make decisions – such as dementia, intellectual disability, mental illness, or acquired brain injury
  • whether it is in your best interests to have a guardian or administrator appointed.

More information

The rules are different in each state and territory, so contact the relevant authority where you live, or your legal adviser, for details on the guardianship and administration laws in your state or territory.

View information on guardianship and administrators in your state or territory:

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Last reviewed: 29 November, 2016.