Guardianship and Administration Board
The Guardianship and Administration Board is an independent statutory Board with the authority to appoint guardians or administrators to make important decisions affecting the lives and property of people who lack capacity to make such decisions due to an illness or disability.
Very few people require an order of the Board and generally an application is only required if there is a problem that cannot be solved without a legally appointed decision-maker. Some examples include:
- Complex financial transactions (eg sale of house, restrictions on a bank account) when a person has lost capacity to make those transactions
- A person with a disability is being neglected, exploited or abused
- Disputes within a family or between a family and service providers about the kind of support a person with a disability needs and who should provide it
- A person with a disability objects to a plan for their care that is supported by friends, family and service providers
The Board consists of the President (a legal practitioner) and a number of members from legal, medical, accounting and community backgrounds who are present when it conducts its hearings. Hearings take place in each region of the state when appropriate and at locations suitable for participants.
For more information on the Guardianship and Administration Board, please see fact sheet.
The functions of the Board are extensive and include powers in relation to:
- Enduring guardianship
- Enduring powers of attorney
- Emergency situations
- Consent to medical or dental treatment
- Statutory Wills
- Appointment of a Guardian or Administrator made outside Tasmania
A guardian is a person who has been appointed with legal authority to make personal (non-financial) decisions on behalf of an adult who lacks capacity to make such decisions due to a disability. This is a decision-making role, not a carers role and they can decide on where the person lives or what health care and support services they will receive. The Board may appoint a guardian for a person who is over 18 years of age.
The Board most often appoints the Public Guardian, however any person over 18 years of age may be appointed as another’s guardian such as a family member or close friend who the Board judges to be suitable.
An enduring guardian is a person you appoint who would make decisions about your personal circumstances if you lost the capacity to make decisions due to the onset of a disability.
By appointing your own enduring guardian, you can decide who will be your chosen person and how you want decisions made for you about your healthcare and accommodation, and also who visits you or what support services you should receive.
Your guardian must be over 18 years old and cannot be a person who is directly or indirectly involved in a professional capacity in your medical treatment or care (eg GP or physiotherapist).
If you change your mind, you can revoke an enduring guardianship and appoint a new one. Any changes you make must be registered and a new fee paid.
Consider appointing an enduring guardian that you trust, who is decisive and able to advocate clearly on your behalf.
For more information on enduring guardianship, please see the following fact sheets:
- Appointing an Enduring Guardian
- Enduring Guardianship Infosheet
- Enduring Guardianship Coversheet
- Review of Enduring Guardian fact sheet
The Board may appoint an administrator who acts like a financial manager of a person’s finances and property.
The Administrator may be a person or organisation (eg The Public Trustee) who has been given the legal authority to manage some, or all of the financial and legal affairs of a person with a disability.
- Administration fact sheet
- Information for Private Administrators – this booklet details the administrator’s role, duties and responsibilities and contains forms and examples.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose another person to make property and financial decisions for you and act on your behalf if you lose the capacity to make such decisions for yourself.
Please seek legal advice on making an enduring power of attorney. EPAs must be registered with the Office of the Recorder of Titles.
If there is an urgent need for an immediate order (usually to protect a person or their estate from harm), an emergency guardianship order or administration order can be made without a formal hearing and over the phone in exceptional circumstances.
Medical and Dental Treatment
This part of the Act provides a comprehensive and flexible statutory scheme for the authorisation and approval of medical and dental treatment for people who are incapable of giving or refusing consent.
The Board has authority to consent to treatment but in most cases, this will not be required. The Act gives the person responsible (persons spouse, carer or close friend) the authority to provide a substitute consent, but the Board however must consent to some types of serious treatments.
- Medical and dental treatment fact sheet – for Practitioners
- Medical and dental treatment fact sheet – for a Person Responsible
A statutory will is made by an order of the Board for a person who is incapable of making a valid will for themselves. The Board may also order the execution of a statutory will for a person who lacks capacity and has never made a valid will (if a person has a valid will, they are not eligible for a statutory will).
Recognising the Appointment of a Guardian or Administrator Made Outside Tasmania
The Board recognises and registers appointments of guardians / administrators made under corresponding law in other Australian states or territories. Applications for recognising these can only be made by the person who was appointed as the guardian / administrator.
When the appointment is recognised, the Board will send the order to the guardian / administrator and the person they’re acting for, as well as the court or tribunal that made the original order in the state or territory.