Ethel, aged 82, has been diagnosed with degenerative dementia and her family wanted an independent administrator appointed to manage her legal and financial affairs.

Ethel is an elderly widow living in her own home. She receives a Centrelink Aged Pension and has money in both a bank term deposit and a savings account. She has two children who have families of their own.

Unfortunately Ethel became ill and required hospitalisation. Tests taken during her stay revealed she's suffering from degenerative dementia.

The medical staff determined her needs would be better provided for if she was to move to an aged care facility.

Her family advised the hospital that Ethel did not have the Enduring Power of Attorney or Guardianship that would have allowed others to make necessary decisions and take actions regarding her affairs on her behalf.

An application was made to SACAT to have an administrator and a guardian appointed.

The family were happy to take on the role of guardian and assist with the everyday needs and concerns of their mother, but felt it would be more appropriate for an independent administrator to be appointed, so the Public Trustee was chosen.

Ethel was to move into an aged care facility, but she had insufficient cash funds to pay the bond. It was necessary to sell her house and some of her furniture. The house was put up for sale once SACAT gave their approval.

Ethel took some of her furniture to the aged care facility, her family took possession of furniture that was bequeathed to them, and the remainder of the furniture was sold.

The refundable accommodation deposit was easily covered by the sale proceeds of the house and furniture, and the remaining funds were placed into an investment account on Ethel’s behalf.

We now pay Ethel’s ongoing accommodation expenses and, in consultation with her family, provide additional funds to Ethel to allow her to participate in activities such as outings and to purchase items such as confectionery and special toiletries that she likes.

Ethel’s family are now free to enjoy time with her without having to worry about managing her finances.