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Applying for an order

Any adult may choose to apply to VCAT for a guardianship or administration order if they are concerned that a person with a disability is not able to make a decision that needs to be made.

An application can only be made for a person who is 18 years or older, or to take effect when the person has reached 18 years.

Most commonly applications will be made by the family and friends of the person with the decision-making disability, although it could be any concerned person. The person with the inability to manage their own affairs is called the proposed represented person until an order is made.

Even if a proposed represented person does not live in Victoria, an application can be made for the administration of any part of their estate that is in Victoria.

See ss. 22, 23—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Note: If the person with a disability has appointed a medical treatment decision-maker (or old power of attorney medical, or enduring guardian documents in place), they are unlikely to need a VCAT order.

See What is a power of attorney?

How to apply

The application form is available from the VCAT website. A person can fill it in online or download the form, fill it out and post it.

See Forms.

Use the same form whether applying for an administration or guardianship order. The form asks for:

  • the name and contact details of the proposed represented person
  • the kind of order that the applicant is applying for
  • reasons for seeking the application
  • the name and contact details of any person who is a proposed guardian, supportive guardian, administrator or support administrator
  • a list of all known relatives (and contact details if known)
  • the name and contact details of any person who has a direct interest in the application
  • details about the primary carer, and close friends
  • any attorney who has been appointed under the Powers of Attorney Act 2014
  • the kind of supports that the proposed represented person needs (including any companion animal).

See Forms and s. 24—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and s. 67—Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Medical report

A medical report about the proposed represented person has to accompany the application.

Any other evidence from social workers, case managers or other service providers who have worked with the person will be useful to attach as well.

Represented person to attend hearing

In most cases the proposed represented person (who is subject to the application) must attend the hearing unless there are special circumstances to prevent this. It is important that they can have the chance to have their say. They don't have to be physically present at the hearing, they can attend by phone or by video link if this is easier for them. They don't have to attend if they don't want to or if it is impractical or unreasonable. But if the proposed represented person does not attend, the applicant will be asked the explain why they could not be there.

See s. 29—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and s. 100—Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Who must be notified

Guardianship or administrator application

When an application for guardianship or administration is made, the following people are entitled to be given notice of the hearing:

  • any party to the proceeding
  • any partner of the proposed represented person
  • any primary carer
  • any person referred to in the application as having a direct interest in the application
  • the public advocate (if the application is for a guardianship order and no person is proposed as a guardian)
  • any other person VCAT directs must be given notice.

This notice of application given to a party in the proceedings must include:

  • a copy of the application and any information filed in support,
  • the names of all parties to the proceeding and other people who are entitled to notice
  • information about the rights of the party in relation to the application.

In addition to the information above, a person who is not a party to the proceeding must also be informed about how to apply to VCAT to be made a party to the proceeding.

See ss. 26, 27—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Who are parties to the proceeding?

Parties to a proceeding are:

  • the applicant
  • the proposed represented person
  • the person proposed as guardian or administrator
  • any current administrator or guardian who has been appointed
  • any other person VCAT has ordered to be joined as an applicant

See s. 25—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and s. 60—Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Time limit

VCAT must hold the hearing within 30 days of the application being made unless VCAT requires the parties to attend a compulsory conference or mediation first.

If the matter is urgent, it will be heard as soon as possible.

See s. 28—Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)

  • s. 22—application for a guardianship order
  • s. 23—application for administration order
  • s. 24—matters to be included in the application to VCAT
  • s. 25—who are the parties to a proceeding on an application?
  • s. 26—who is entitled to notice of an application
  • s. 27—contents of the notice of application
  • s. 28—date for hearing
  • s. 29—participation of proposed represented person at hearing

See Guardianship and Administration Act 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 (Vic)

  • s. 60—power of VCAT to order a person to joined as a party to the proceeding (joinder of parties)
  • s. 67—how to make an application to the tribunal
  • s. 100—method of conducting hearings

See Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Victorian Civil and Administrative Rules 2018 (Vic)

  • Order 4—General procedure
  • Order 7, Part 2—Guardianship list

See Victorian Civil and Administrative Rules 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated